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Ryan Howard needs surgery for ruptured Achilles’ tendon

Oct 8, 2011, 9:26 PM EDT

ryan howard ap AP

From Danny Knobler of CBS Sports comes word that Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard indeed ruptured his Achilles’ tendon on the final play of Friday’s NLDS Game 5 loss to the Cardinals.

The 31-year-old slugger will undergo surgery within the next week or two and is unlikely to recover in time to participate in the first half of the 2012 regular season. He might even miss the entire year.

The news arrives with awful timing for the Phillies, who had their dreams of a World Series title dashed this week by the Wild Card-winning Redbirds.

Howard, a .275/.368/.560 career hitter, is owed a whopping $125 million over the next five seasons.

The Phillies also announced Saturday that Cole Hamels needs minor surgery on his left elbow.

  1. phukyouk - Oct 8, 2011 at 9:30 PM

    WOW! these guys know how to go out in style!

  2. yankeesgameday - Oct 8, 2011 at 9:40 PM

    The mighty Casey struck out… And then ruptured his Achilles tendon thereby jeopardizing Mudville’s entire filling season as well. Talk about alternate endings…

    • yankeesgameday - Oct 8, 2011 at 9:40 PM


  3. Clinton Manitoba - Oct 8, 2011 at 9:41 PM

    Sadly his stolen base numbers will probably drop.

  4. gallaghedj311 - Oct 8, 2011 at 9:45 PM

    I wish Charlie had to miss next season. #underachievingphillies. #firecharliemanuel I’m pipe dreaming I know……

    • brianbowman16 - Oct 9, 2011 at 12:30 AM

      looks like somebody gets twitter and HBT mixed up

    • nocryinginbaseball07 - Oct 10, 2011 at 6:43 AM

      Gall – you’re kidding, right?

  5. uyf1950 - Oct 8, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    Very unfortunate injury. The only thing that I can see that works slightly in favor of the Phillies is that playing in a division with the Braves, Nationals, Mets and Marlins. They should be able to hold their own until Howard comes back. It would seem the only real competition the Phillies have in the division is the Braves.
    In any case hopefully Howard doesn’t have any set backs while recovering you never like to see a player suffer an injury.

    • deep64blue - Oct 8, 2011 at 10:05 PM

      Have you watched the Nationals recently?

      • xmatt0926x - Oct 8, 2011 at 10:58 PM

        Agree that the nats are better and I commented before that the Nats would be a good spot for Prince, but they still need a few additions to get near the Braves or Phillies. I know its fashionable to revel in the Phillies downfall this year but when that all ends they still are a team with 3 great pitchers. The offense can obviously slump for times but over the long haul of a 162 game season they are enough to win 90-100 games. The braves also will be very good, assuming their pitchers stay healthy. I do like the Nats though.

      • uyf1950 - Oct 8, 2011 at 11:26 PM

        deep64, all I’m saying is if Howard can make it back by the All Star break the Phillies should be able to hold their own in the NL East. They won the division by about 13 games over the Braves and about 20 games over the Nationals. And I may be wrong but they also had some injuries to begin the 2011 season. Plus they picked up Pence late in the season. I just think it will be incredibly difficult for any of the teams in the NL East to make up that kind of ground by the time Howard comes back. Especially with the Phillies rotation and the addition of Pence.
        I’m not a Phillies fan as you should know and I have no horse in that race but looking at the teams and the numbers when all is said and done the Phillies still look like the team to beat in 2012. That’s just my opinion.

  6. brownsbraves11 - Oct 8, 2011 at 10:07 PM

    His 2012 is over. Wonder what their plan at 1B is.

    • phukyouk - Oct 8, 2011 at 10:53 PM

      Pujols, Albert

      • frenchysplatediscipline - Oct 8, 2011 at 11:08 PM

        you wish.

      • frenchysplatediscipline - Oct 8, 2011 at 11:13 PM

        Just curious… what to you do with Ryan when he comes back after you get Pujols? Do you just wish him and his contract away?

      • CJ - Oct 9, 2011 at 8:28 AM

        Move Albert to third. Duh.

      • paperlions - Oct 9, 2011 at 9:36 AM

        Unfortunately, only Howard will be missing from Philly, not his contract. Though they will get a little money off the books, that comes at the price of a couple more holes to fill. With the money they have tied up in older players, the LAST thing Philly should do is spend too much for too many years of Pujols.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 9, 2011 at 9:43 AM

        Not going to happen. My guess is that the Phillies hope the Yankees decline the option on Nick Swisher.

      • uyf1950 - Oct 9, 2011 at 10:35 AM

        drmonkey, I doubt the Yankees will decline Swisher’s option there really isn’t any better option for the Yankees for the 2012 season and at $10.2M the option is relatively affordable.

    • xmatt0926x - Oct 8, 2011 at 11:01 PM

      It depends on Dom Brown. If he steps up then they move Mayberry, Jr. to 1st. He subbed there for Howard a few times this season. Bottom line they get a replacement in left field or 1st base, depending on the circumstances and who’s available. I’m not an expert but if Howard is out all year they likely have insurance on his contract. Not sure how that works though and if it would free up money for next season.

    • firedude7160 - Oct 9, 2011 at 2:09 PM

      Mayberry, Jr. most likely. Dominic Brown in left. That is just using the current players. There is always the possibility they pick up someone, but then you have to figure out what to do with them when Howard comes back

  7. dailyrev - Oct 8, 2011 at 10:26 PM

    have to wonder if this puts them into the Prince-Albert market now. Then again, I don’t understand all the pundits who write off the AL $$$ powers, as if either of those guys, esp. Albert, couldn’t play OF or DH. I’m thinking anyone with $200-250M to spend who could use a powerful (Prince) or sublime (Albert) bat in their lineup is in or at least sniffing this year.

    • jamie54 - Oct 8, 2011 at 10:41 PM

      What are you talking about? They’re on the hook for the second largest payroll iin MLB now and no way can afford Pujols or Fielder. They got themselves in this corner by overpaying for Howard, let them think their way out of it now. And even if they did when Howard came back what do you do with him? You could never trade him because who would want that contract? Makes absolutely no sense.

  8. goawaydog - Oct 8, 2011 at 10:44 PM

    That is unlucky

  9. willcoop - Oct 8, 2011 at 11:04 PM

    May be able to go after Carlos Pena in Chicago, another left handed bat.

    • aceshigh11 - Oct 8, 2011 at 11:25 PM

      Maybe, but I don’t think Pena wants to be just a rental or a placeholder until Howard and his mammoth contract come back.

      I realize that Pena’s batting average has collapsed over the last few years but he’s still a decent slugger and I doubt he wants to be just a temporary bandaid.

      • jwbiii - Oct 9, 2011 at 1:31 AM

        I don’t know about that. Pena took a 1/$10M to play with the Cubs last year. He’s not in a position to get a huge multiyear contract. A similar one year deal with the Phillies might appeal to him.

  10. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 8, 2011 at 11:16 PM

    Trade an ace for Votto? How does Joey’s contract compare to Hamels?

    • jwbiii - Oct 9, 2011 at 1:35 AM

      Votto is due 2/$20M, Hamels is an Arb 4, figure something like $11M.

    • jwbiii - Oct 9, 2011 at 1:38 AM

      Eh. Votto is due 2/$30M.

    • uyf1950 - Oct 9, 2011 at 7:30 AM

      Actually with the year Hamels had this past year he should get a bump from his 2011 salary of $9.5M to about $12M as it stands now he is to become a free agent after the 2012 season.

      As for Votto, he is due $9.5M in 2012 and $17M in 2013 Total for the 2 years $26.5M. He become a FA after the 2013 season.

      BTW, just as a comparison for Hamels. Jared Weaver recently signed a 5 year $85M extension with the Angels. Jared had 1 year left of arbitration as will Hamel’s. Jared is 1 year older though and did give the Angels a “hometown” discount. My guess is if the Phillies give Hamels a contract this off season a full year before he hits FA he’s looking at about 5 years $90M plus, slightly more than Weaver just got. If he hits FA he could be looking at 6 or 7 years $120M and up.

      • jwbiii - Oct 10, 2011 at 9:58 PM

        The way Votto’s signing bonus was structured, he’s due $11M in 2012 and $19 in 2013.

        From Cot’s:
        “3 years/$38M (2011-13)

        signed extension with Cincinnati 1/17/11
        $6M signing bonus ($2.5M on signing, $1.5M in 2012, $2M in 2013)
        11:$5.5M, 12:$9.5M, 13:$17M”

    • paperlions - Oct 9, 2011 at 9:40 AM

      The Red are not going to trade Votto for non-cheap talent they will lose in a year or two….then they should just keep Votto. They’ll be looking for a package of cheap prospects with high ceilings that are a couple years away from the bigs….at least, that is what they should be looking for as that will represent maximum potential value….and when you have budget constraints, you need a LOT of young cheap talent.

      Yay parity.

      • uyf1950 - Oct 9, 2011 at 10:39 AM

        paperlions, I agree about the trade for non cheap talent. If the assumption is that the Reds would entertain trade options because they believe Votto will be to expensive to resign then Hamel’s certainly is not a option for them as a trade. Hamel’s baring some sort of injury is going to command a lot of money if and when he hits FA and even if he signs an extension before then.

      • paperlions - Oct 9, 2011 at 11:41 AM

        Votto has essentially already said he’s going to the highest bidder….that is why he has declined to even discuss an extension that goes beyond his Arbitration years.

  11. frenchysplatediscipline - Oct 8, 2011 at 11:18 PM

    Truth is the Phils are screwed (and I love it!!). They will still have the pitching but 1B will still be a problem.

    Why would they go out and get a big name FA to play first? Any one available out there is only going to do a 1 year deal to play in Philly ( so that rules out Fielder and Pujols) due to the king’s ransom due to Howard.

    Then again, he could just come back for a stretch run. And a hungry Ryan Howard is not a good thing for the rest of the NL…

    • xmatt0926x - Oct 8, 2011 at 11:22 PM

      They are screwed?? Funny. I thought the prevailing opinion on here was that Howard was basically useless and had no value? But then he gets injured and the team will suffer greatly? Interesting…

      • paperlions - Oct 9, 2011 at 9:43 AM

        No, the prevailing opinion is that Howard is roughly an average 1B, great power, but nothing else is on the plus side of the ledger. Honestly, the Phils should be able to fill his spot cheaply and lose almost nothing in terms of value, because any replacement will probably be better in the field and on the bases and have similar on-base skills….and most 1B have some power or they wouldn’t still be in the league.

      • uyf1950 - Oct 9, 2011 at 10:49 AM

        Wouldn’t Derrek Lee be a viable option for the Phillies for 1 year?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 9, 2011 at 10:58 AM

        I’d rather they go with Mayberry Jr. at first and Brown in left than Derek Lee.

      • cintiphil - Oct 9, 2011 at 3:14 PM

        I agree they are in a bad place. How can you have Howard on the payroll, and pay the 30 Mil for 10 years that Albert is seeking? I think they are going to try a cheaper solution.

    • frenchysplatediscipline - Oct 8, 2011 at 11:27 PM

      I need to clarify some things before I go…

      1: I DO NOT love the fact that Howard got hurt. As a Braves fan I want him at his best. If we win I want it to be because we beat the best… not some half-talent replacement.

      2: I have stated I have the Phils (and I do). However, I NEVER wish injury on anyone. I was happy to see the Phils lose, but it made my stomach turn to see Howard lying on the grass while the Cards celebrated. I have defended him on these blogs (even he is the enemy) because so many people discredit the RBI stat (and that still makes me scratch my head???). But I still have a ton of respect for him and he seems like a true professional that lets his bat do the talking (rather than his mouth). Ryan – (from a Braves fan) wish you a speedy recovery and hope to see you on the battlefield sooner rather than later.

    • shawndc04 - Oct 10, 2011 at 9:17 AM

      Nationals fan here. How about a package from us including 1B Chris Marrero? He gives Phillies a right handed bat on the cheap, probably fields better than Howard, and is young. At present he can’t get by LaRoche and Morse at !B down here in Washington.

  12. aceshigh11 - Oct 8, 2011 at 11:19 PM

    I feel really bad for the guy.

    It’s not bad enough that he makes the final out of their season for the second year in a row, but he suffers a godawful injury in the process.

  13. illcomm - Oct 8, 2011 at 11:31 PM

    Not sure if anyone mentioned this, but Jim Thome would be a perfect fit for a year.

    • jwbiii - Oct 9, 2011 at 2:10 AM

      This is Thome’s injury list from this season:

      7/15/2011 Missed 2 games (toe injury).
      7/10/2011 Toe injury, day-to-day.
      7/09/2011 Missed 1 game (toe injury).
      7/08/2011 Toe injury, day-to-day.
      6/24/2011 Missed 20 games (left quad).
      6/02/2011 Left quad, 15-day DL.
      5/30/2011 Missed 1 game (left shoulder inflammation).
      5/29/2011 Left shoulder inflammation, day-to-day.
      5/22/2011 Missed 19 games (oblique injury).
      5/04/2011 Oblique injury, 15-day DL.
      5/01/2011 Oblique injury, day-to-day.
      4/30/2011 Missed 4 games (oblique injury).
      4/27/2011 Oblique injury, day-to-day.

      This is as a DH. You want to play him in the field?

  14. illcomm - Oct 8, 2011 at 11:38 PM

    or Matt rizzotto could get a shot..

  15. Old Gator - Oct 9, 2011 at 12:15 AM

    Insurance will pay much of Howard’s salary until he is able to return so that won’t be a problem for the Feelies. A team that fills a huge stadium to capacity every single night it plays at home has pretty sizable resources, you know? And obviously that ticket sales profile represents a pretty big television audience as well. The Feelies aren’t hurting for money. If Rollins and Ibanez both leave, they’ve also cleared some serious overhead. It’s a great opportunity for them to get leaner, meaner, younger and faster and/or to land a monster like Fielder or Pujols. Amaro is no fool. I guarangoddamntee you that he’s already got an agenda for the orfseason.

    • paperlions - Oct 9, 2011 at 9:47 AM

      Are you sure? Insurance companies were getting stung by those deals and jacked up the rates to the point that most teams don’t bother with policies anymore. Insurance companies are not in the business of helping you during tough times, they are in the business of making money…if they are making money, then teams are losing money. I doubt Howard was covered, it would have been a silly gamble…and probably cost far more for a 2-3 yr policy than the $25M they’ll lose for one year…..pitchers were more commonly covered when it was a common practice. Not sure that it is anymore.

      • Old Gator - Oct 9, 2011 at 2:11 PM

        I don’t have a pipeline to the Feelies’ business desk but I’d be pretty surprised if they didn’t have their star players covered. The policy premium would be a deductible business expense so whatever it looks like a la carte, its cost would be significantly less at the end of the day. I imagine there’d also be a waiting period. Anyway, very few forms of insurance are profitable based solely on the premiums charged for them; they’re moneymakers due to investment profiles, the interest earned on both premium and loss reserves (the rules governing how they are invested have been hugely liberalized over the past couple of decades – just ask AIG, nyuknyuknyuk). Unless a policy on Howard had been invested in mortgage bundles, I dare say that, with his injury occurring in the last out of the last game of the season, and with the medical coverage picking up the cost of his surgery, post-op treatment and likely his rehab, unless he actually does miss the entire 2012 season they’ll still do better than break-even on him.

  16. btwicey - Oct 9, 2011 at 2:29 AM

    When it rains it poors

  17. kappy32 - Oct 9, 2011 at 3:34 AM

    Valentino “Don’t Call me Val” Pascucci is the answer. Maybe Dom Brown for Valentio? ::sarcasm::

  18. stoutfiles - Oct 9, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    What about Scott Hatteburg?

  19. dbick - Oct 9, 2011 at 10:16 AM

    I said this in another thread about this topic but I mean it in all seriousness: Get to South America or Europe and get that stem cell (or whatever it was) treatment that Bartolo Colon and Kobe Bryant got. Colon’s throwing in the mid 90’s again and reports are Kobe is jumping like he was 10 years ago. Why not do it after surgery?

    • Old Gator - Oct 9, 2011 at 2:12 PM

      I agree. Why depend on our third world medical non-system when you can go to Cuba and get taken care of properly?

    • firedude7160 - Oct 9, 2011 at 2:41 PM

      NFL guys are all over this as well. I think it is a very viable option that these guys should utilize (because they can afford it. If I could, I would do it as well)

  20. kingjoe1 - Oct 9, 2011 at 2:17 PM

    Okay so between 100 million ofr Michael Vick and 125 Million for Howard, Phil sports execs are looking pretty stupid. These are the worst deals since Murdoch bought myspace.

  21. cintiphil - Oct 9, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    The Reds will keep Votto. If they let him get away, they will lose half of their fans. Can the Phillies afford to get Votto, or Fielder or Albert and pay off Howard? And, after next year, what to do when Howard wants the job back? they are truly in a tough spot. Doesn’t seem like even the Yankees would be able or willing to do that.

  22. cleverbob - Oct 10, 2011 at 8:13 AM

    I’m guessing they will try to make do with a combination of Mayberry Jr and Rizzotto. If those guys can’t get it done on the cheap, look for an early season addition (like Thome) to be added to the platoon.

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