Sunday, May 04, 2008

Time To Worry?

Ryan Howard is pissing me off. He's considered a slugging firstbaseman; I consider him to be more slug-like, and I'm not just referring to his lack of speed. Howard is still relatively new to the Majors, this being only his 3rd full season, and it's becoming evident that he's prone to a sluggish start. No excuses, this type of performance is just plain ridiculous. The Phils are doing their best to win despite Howard's best efforts to sink the ship. His .170 batting average and 45 strikeouts in 112 at bats is setting records for futility. He already owns the infamous record for k's in a season with 199, and he's well on his way to eclipsing that total this year (pace- 235). I like the "Imagine If" game, so just imagine if Howard was hitting anywhere close to his career norms right now, that would probably be good for another 2-3 wins this season easily. How much longer will renowned players' manager Charlie Manuel allow Howard to stifle the offense from the cleanup spot without typical production of a cleanup hitter? How much longer must fans wait before mercilessly booing the ever-loving crap out the big oaf? How much longer before intelligent, thought provoking, analytical bloggers like myself can start ranting about his lack of worth this season and begin worrying about if he'll turn "it" around or not? Count this blogger in the officially worried category and as you read the rants have begun.
What to make of Ryan Howard?
Will still put up monster MVP-like numbers.
Won't be an All-Star, but won't be a UnStar either.
Time to worry!
  
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~Carson

19 comments:

Bob D said...

I am not worried about Howard, but it may not be a bad idea to move him down the lineup. He can bat right before DP Feliz, so he can K to eliminate the double play for Feliz.

Jeff H. said...

Opposing teams have figured out how to pitch to him.

Time to worry.

GM-Carson said...

Jeff H- I agree. For the better part of 2.5 seasons Howard dominated NL pitching. Opposing teams have watched and studied video to learn how to pitch to him. Pitch him away and get him fishing then bust him up and in...k every time.

GreggyD said...

I think it's definitely time to worry. I could sit here and say, "oh well, he will snap out of it in June or July", but by that time, who knows how many games he may have cost us. I can see the frustration in his face, but maybe that means he needs to get in the batting cage and figure out what is wrong with his swing.

I remember reading last week (I don't recall if it was here or not) that Milt Thompson explained that Howard was having trouble picking up the ball. I can understand if it was a pitcher or two (i.e. Dontrelle Willis), but this just seems to be every pitcher. Thompson went on to say that Howard is just swinging at things because he doesn't know what else to do right now. What the hell kind of reasoning/justification is that??? Howard is absolutely disgusting to watch at the plate. It makes me sick. Burrell and Utley will not put up these numbers for 162 games. It's just not likely for these hot streaks to continue. Howard needs to re-dedicate himself to figuring out his swing and correcting his vision, because it's going to be a long year if this crap keeps up.

GM-Carson said...

The only reason the Phils score runs right now is because of Burrell and Utley and GreggyD is correct in saying that their "hot streaks" won't last all season long, and this team will absolutely need Howard's bat to start producing. I used to get on the edge of my seat expecting something big to happen every time Howard came to the plate, now I only expect him to K.

GM-Carson said...

On a positive note, everyone's favorite Bastard, Antonio Bastardo was promoted to Reading and won his debut allowing only 1 run over 5.2 innings. Now 3-0 over 6 starts with 51 k's in 36.1 IP...and he's a lefty!

GM-Carson said...

All this talk about Ryan Howard warming up when the weather warms up is kind of funny. I would understand that logic if he made contact, but warmer weather doesn't mean his bat will magically meet the ball all of a sudden. Bottom line, Howard needs to make more contact then the hits will come, until then 115 degree Arizona heat won't cure his woes.

Bill said...

Howard needs to keep his head down on the ball. He is pulling his body (and head) out and not seeing the pitch. I still think he will hit 40 homeruns but how many times will he strikeout and what will his batting average be?

Dave Kingman anyone? Or maybe Rob Deere!

http://myteamrivals.typepad.com/phightin_phils_phorum

http://myteamrivals.typepad.com/turnpike_series

http://myteamrivals.typepad.com/billypenn/

libertyball said...

I'm in that category with you Carson. I started in on him after he struck out in the 1st yesterday: http://www.libertyball.net/ryan-howard/

Los said...

Do you think the Phils secretly like this Howard slump? He probably won't get that $10 million in next year's arbitration, right? I think Howard was getting a little too full of himself anyway.

GM-Carson said...

Howard thought he was the new A-Rod. Nobody is A-Rod but A-Rod. Ryan Howard just needs to start making contact again.

Speaking of making contact, Pat Burrell 2 doubles today, he's a straight up pimp!

Also on the subject of contact, the Giants hitters have made far too much contact this weekend off of the Phils batters, they're a horrible lineup yet they've collected over 30 hits in the series already.

Phils are giving Cole some runs, he better starting pitching better with the lead.

GM-Carson said...

This is ridiculous, the Giants lineup is a bunch on misfits, rookies, and then Aaron Rowand. No way they should have 34 hits through this series already.

Cole Hamels did a very poor job pitching with the lead today, and for the most part this season. The Phils haven't given him much to work with this season, but when they get him runs he turns around and gives them right back.

Jacobin said...

Wooo! Chooch finally did something good (he had been playing much more like a cooch before that home run).

I'm in agreement with moving Howard down in the order. Put Burrell behind Utley and then let Howard hit (or more correctly, flail at three pitches). It gives you a left-right-left for that portion of the lineup and based on how they are playing this year, makes more sense.

GM-Carson said...

Ryan Howard scores the winning run on an error...hey it's a win at least!

In fact, we won the series, but the Giants outplayed us 90% of the time, we just capitalized on their downtime.

Out to Arizona for a very tough series against the best team in baseball.

GM-Carson said...

10 of the Phils 18 victories have been comebacks, that's some moxy!

GM-Carson said...

If there's ever a time for Ryan Howard to get hot it's this upcoming series. Howard's #'s at Arizona- .423 avg. 4 HR, 1.464 OPS...time to start hitting big fella!

chuckm said...

Yeah, you cant help thinking of Burrell 2003 when you see Howards woes extending into May. At least he drew 3 walks today, which is far preferable than him swinging through, over and under pitches. This weekend series wasnt pretty but they did get the job done by taking 2 of 3. Considering Rollins absence and Howards slumpage, the fact that they keep finding a way to grind out wins and are currently on top in the East is about as good as you could hope for. Lets just hope they can swing a 4-3 or better road trip this coming week

LynnieMac said...

Howard is definitely reminding me of Burrell's 2003 - with one major difference. Burrell wasn't making $10 million that year.

GM-Carson said...

I'm worried about Howard, but I'm not quite ready to write him off yet. I keep telling myself that something will click with him and all will be well again.