Feb 15, 2014, 7:05 PM EDT
For several years, many have suggested that the Phillies ought to platoon first baseman Ryan Howard with a right-handed hitter who can handle lefties. In the past, John Mayberry, Jr. was one option and more recently, Darin Ruf seems tailor-made for the role.
Per CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury, Howard is keeping the mindset of an everyday player, saying, “That’s negative. If I think negative, if I think I can’t hit lefties, I might as well not go out there at all.” More from Salisbury:
Howard believes a healthy left leg will allow him to be better against lefty pitching in 2014.
“Being able to now have two legs and being able to be a little more stable in the box, it will allow me to stay back a little bit longer and kind of see balls,” he said Saturday. “When my legs are going good and everything is going well I can hit lefties. It’s just a matter of being able to be stable in the box.”
Howard’s weighted on-base average (wOBA) against right- and left-handed pitching since 2006 looks like this:
|Year||vs. LHP||vs. RHP|
The National League average wOBA for first basemen from 2006-13 has been .362, .358, .353, .360, .347, .340, .328, and .328, so Howard’s production against lefties over the last three seasons has been significantly below average. He can still hit right-handed pitching without a doubt.
Also from Salisbury, Howard says his goal for 2014 is to play in all 162 games.
- Jon Niese bristles at the media reporting Dan Warthen’s racial slur — and I sorta understand why 15
- Jimmy Rollins on Ryne Sandberg: “Everyone is allowed to have their opinion. That doesn’t make it right.” 57
- Smart money on Hanley Ramirez, Jay Bruce in prop bets 24
- 2014 Preview: Kansas City Royals 15
- Kris Medlen expects to have another Tommy John surgery 13
- Albert Pujols was insulted when someone asked him if he can put up Mike Trout numbers (104)
- Is Barry Bonds really getting a “fair hearing?” (102)
- Manny Machado calls $519K salary for 2014 “disappointing” (90)
- Giants players love having Barry Bonds at spring training (88)
- Ryan Braun calls himself an “artist,” doesn’t care what fans on the road will shout at him (84)