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Ryan Howard is riding the pine once again

Jul 25, 2014, 3:14 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v Los Angeles Dodgers Getty Images

Ryan Howard is out of the Phillies’ lineup for the third consecutive game. It make a lot of sense tonight, however, as the Phillies face off against lefty Wade Miley. Darin Ruf gets the start. Ruf has hit a homer off Miley once, so that’s not nothing I suppose.

Still baffled at yesterday, though. Howard sat against a righty, Tim Hudson, who he has absolutely owned throughout his career. If you’re going to platoon, you give that start to Howard.

  1. stan97 - Jul 25, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    It makes perfect sense Craig, Howard effing sucks.

    He shouldn’t start a game the rest of this season.

    • greymares - Jul 25, 2014 at 3:30 PM

      If they had a suitable replacement , maybe, but they don’t!

      • ewyorksockexchange - Jul 25, 2014 at 4:07 PM

        Ruf isn’t looking great in all of 19 at bats this year, but in 73 games last year he had a .806 OPS and a 122 OPS+. If he can do something close to that on a somewhat consistent basis, he’ll be a huge upgrade over Howard and his .682 OPS/90 OPS+. You can’t really even platoon Howard, his OPS is basically identical regardless of pitcher handedness.

      • yahmule - Jul 25, 2014 at 4:20 PM

        I’m happy to see they’re finally giving Ruf a chance. Even better that its coming at first base.

    • jmadgett - Jul 25, 2014 at 5:15 PM

      Ruf Blows. Seriously. He turns 28 next week too so it’s not like some young prospect is getting his feet wet. And looking at his stats how are they any different than Howard’s? Will someone please explain this to me? Maybe I’m not seeing the same numbers all of you are. Upgrade? Not even close. The Phils are talking about shopping Howard but are sitting him for 3 consecutive contests after he has back-to-back multi-hit games. How is that going to show teams what value he has left? The nonsense going on here is baffling.

      • scotttheskeptic - Jul 25, 2014 at 5:47 PM

        What value? Do you really believe any team is willing to cough up a roster spot for Howard? It is a given the Phils will have to eat 99+% of remaining salary, but roster spots have value.

      • yahmule - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:07 PM

        A) Nobody said Ruf is a wonderful prospect. These are the Phillies after all.
        B) Many players finally establish themselves in the majors at relatively advanced ages and display some utility. We call them late bloomers.
        C) Ruf outproduced Howard last year and at 27 years and 362 days of age, he’s far more likely to improve with steady MLB AB’s than the 34.5 year old Howard and his current OPS+ of 90.

  2. DelawarePhilliesFan - Jul 25, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    “If you’re going to platoon, you give that start to Howard.”

    Exactly. Still baffled?

    • SocraticGadfly - Jul 25, 2014 at 3:46 PM

      Maybe there’s a Ruben vs. Ryno power struggle behind the scenes? Ryno’s going to keep him benched until Ruben moves him, one way or another?

      • paperlions - Jul 25, 2014 at 4:37 PM


        Ruf is younger and may be a future replacement for Howard. He’s been hurt much of the year, it is time to give him a shot to find out what they have.

      • scotttheskeptic - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:21 PM

        To add to Paper’s comment: the Phils need to be looking at guys who can keep them competitive/entertaining for the next 3 years (minimum), while the entire roster is re-tooled to possibly become contenders. Ruf fits that bill – he’s not going to be starter, nor star, on a contending team, but he offers more than Howard for next few years.

        The fact that Amaro has sat on his hands, and no-one has yet been traded, and the biggest roster move has been DFA of Manship, tells me that he and David Montgomery were serious when they indicated that a total rebuild was not in the offing. Hopefully, my fellow fans stop buying tickets until this changes.

      • slappymcknucklepunch - Jul 25, 2014 at 11:58 PM

        @Scott. It seems to me that the ones they want to trade are old and busted and the decent are going nowhere. The pretty decent one will veto a trade. The GM should not even be a shift leader at Mcdonalds,but realistically what can he do other than quit? You can’t trade bad contracts as no team has that many over- paid players to justify a trade.

      • scotttheskeptic - Jul 26, 2014 at 12:03 PM

        @slappy. Papelbon, Byrd, and Hamels are still here. Amaro should have been laying the groundwork for Rollins and Utley to waive 5/10 rights in May.

    • ewyorksockexchange - Jul 25, 2014 at 4:10 PM

      Howard hasn’t shown that he’s better against righties than lefties this year. His platoon splits show a .682 OPS against righties and a .681 against lefties. He’s going to struggle mightily with or without a platoon situation.

  3. chip56 - Jul 25, 2014 at 3:24 PM

    Stephen A. Smith is going to explain what Ryan Howard could do to avoid provoking benchings in the future.

  4. El Pollo Loco - Jul 25, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    I switched to Quiznos just because of Howard

  5. eagles512 - Jul 25, 2014 at 3:59 PM

    Agreed yesterday was ridiculous. Sandberg seems to over manage almost to try to justify his job.

    • greymares - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:58 PM

      Howard will be a Philly after Sandbergs gone

  6. chip56 - Jul 25, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    He probably sat last night so that he and Amaro would have time to hammer out a contract extension.

  7. happytwinsfan - Jul 25, 2014 at 4:31 PM

    So now we get a post every time Howard’s not in the Philly lineup? Where’s our Friday afternoon Chief Crazy Butt post?

    You know we want it.

  8. rjmarrella - Jul 25, 2014 at 5:04 PM

    It’s time to move on past howard as a baseball team. He has killed the line-up with his bad at-bays and untimely strike outs. No matter his salary, it’s time to move on without him.

  9. sportsfan18 - Jul 26, 2014 at 2:24 PM

    Platoon Howard you say?

    Just for THIS season.

    His OPS against left handed pitchers is .681%
    His OPS against right handed pitchers is .682%

    He’s slugging BETTER against lefties than righties to the tune of .407% to .368%

    Howard doesn’t need to be batting against lefties or righties.

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