Tue, 11 Mar 2014 09:35:12 -0700
Philadelphia Phillies 1B Ryan Howard is focused on returning to the all-fields approach that made him successful earlier in his career. Nine of the 13 times he's put the ball in play this spring, he's hit the ball to either left or center field. Last year, Howard was pulling the ball 40.3 percent of the time. "I've never been a pull hitter. But my biggest problem was trying to pull the ball. Now I'm trying to work back to what my strength is," Howard said. "I'm trying to work the middle of the field. That's the goal. It's all about timing. It's all about rhythm."
Fantasy Tip: Achilles', ankle and knee injuries have contributed to Howard's decline in the last several seasons. He'll have to fix his approach against lefties, too. Using the whole field should help, but it is unlikely to return him to 40-homer levels.
Tue, 25 Feb 2014 12:10:02 -0800
Philadelphia Phillies 1B Ryan Howard asked manager Ryne Sandberg to face more left-handed pitchers this spring in an effort to improve against them. Howard had a single and home run in his first two intrasquad at-bats against southpaws. Howard played well against lefties last spring, but he had just three doubles and three homers with a .173 batting average in 87 at-bats against lefties last season. Sandberg doesn't see a platoon situation for Howard at first base as an imminent option.
Fantasy Tip: Perhaps Maikel Franco become the other half of a platoon at first base later in the year if Howard doesn't improve against lefties. It's an option, but Sandberg looks like he'll be patient with Howard to start the year.
Thu, 26 Sep 2013 13:38:01 -0700
Philadelphia Phillies 1B Ryan Howard (knee) has lost around 10 pounds and has gained muscle mass. He will be on a normal winter training program this offseason as he recovers from his knee ailment.
Tue, 10 Sep 2013 19:23:14 -0700
Philadelphia Phillies 1B Ryan Howard (knee) has been rehabbing at the team's spring training facility in Clearwater, Fla., and he has reportedly made good progress. He will head to the Florida instructional league to continue his recovery. "He's really getting into shape," interim manager Ryne Sandberg said Tuesday, Sept. 10. "He's lost some weight and he seems to be going about it great. He's taken to it well, preparing himself to play in Instructional League games. All reports are things are going well for him."
Fantasy Tip: Howard is expected to be ready for spring training, but fantasy owners will want to think long and hard about drafting him. That's now two seasons in a row where he has had a difficult time staying healthy.
Thu, 22 Aug 2013 20:14:30 -0700
Philadelphia Phillies interim manager Ryne Sandberg indicated 1B Ryan Howard (knee) likely will not play again this season because the team wants him to take his time to get back to 100 percent.
Mon, 12 Aug 2013 15:26:49 -0700
Philadelphia Phillies 1B Ryan Howard (knee) hasn't started swinging a bat, and the club is uncertain if he will play again this season. "I have no idea when or if he is going to be back this year," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "If he's 100 percent and doing baseball activities, it's possible. But there's no reason to rush him back." Howard has lost "15 to 20 pounds," too.
Fantasy Tip: Darin Ruf's playing time for the rest of the season appears to be safe. He can also play in the outfield now that Delmon Young is no longer on the roster.
Tue, 06 Aug 2013 19:31:34 -0700
Philadelphia Phillies 1B Ryan Howard (knee) has not yet been cleared to hit. He is working out at the team's spring training facility in Clearwater, Fla. "He's been throwing and doing some other things," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Tuesday, Aug. 6. "Again, we don't have a timeline for him. We hope he gets back in September at some point."
Sat, 20 Jul 2013 11:33:07 -0700
Philadelphia Phillies 1B Ryan Howard (knee) played catch Friday, July 19. Head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan said he is making good progress and if all goes well, he could return to action by late August or early September.
Wed, 10 Jul 2013 15:16:26 -0700
Philadelphia Phillies 1B Ryan Howard (knee) underwent a successful debridement of the left medial meniscus on Wednesday, July 10. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said that what the surgeon saw was better than expected. The GM suggested that the team is likelier to be a buyer as the trade deadline approaches because he's confident that they'll get Howard back in 2013.
Fantasy Tip: Howard may still be limited when he gets back into action, so fantasy owners may only be looking at a player who was performing at about the level he was before he landed on the DL. Amaro has yet to prove that he's a long-term thinker, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see him remain on the offensive.
Wed, 10 Jul 2013 13:18:57 -0700
Philadelphia Phillies 1B Ryan Howard (knee) underwent knee surgery Wednesday, July 10, and is expected to miss six to eight weeks.