Ryan Howard to rejoin Phillies tonight for series against Braves


Ryan Howard and his bat are set to rejoin the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

After a crushing defeat to the New York Mets last night the Philadelphia Phillies have decided to call in reinforcements. First baseman Ryan Howard will make his season debut tonight as the Phillies take on their division rival, the Atlanta Braves.  The timing of the announcement caught many “baseball heads” by surprise. Not only have the Phillies been extra careful with regards to Howard’s recovery from an Achilles injury, but up until yesterday, word was that he would not be with the big league club until after the All-Star break. I guess desperate times really do call for desperate measures.

At this point in the season, is it really worth pushing Howard ahead of schedule? The Phillies currently are 13 games out of the division and 8.5 out of the wild card race. If Howard is fully recovered, bringing him up after one game at triple-A could be a genius move, but it also could be one last attempt to try to make something good out of this season that appears destined to fail. Since the Phils brought back Chase Utley, he has filled a large void in the middle of the lineup yet they still continue to lose. Will Howard make that much of a difference, or will the bullpen and depleted starting pitching continue to cost the Phillies games?

Howard has been on fire hitting in the minors, but he has barely played the field and he looks to be far from the baseball shape he was in the last couple of years. It goes without saying, he is the center piece of the Phillies lineup. All anti-Howard fans can look at the struggles of the team this year and may now acknowledge that he was instrumental in the past success of the five-time division champs.

The way that I see it, the Phillies have two weeks to prove to themselves and their general manager that they can still win and push for the wild card. Winning the division is, most likely, not going to happen. The only way the Nats lose a 13-game lead is if catastrophic injuries occur to Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez at the same time. I doubt that will happen, and truthfully, I do not want it to happen. The Nats have played the game with a flare the Phillies usually have. They look like they care. The Phillies, at times, look like they don’t.

At 7 p.m., the “Big Piece” makes his season debut. At the very least, he will bring with him a sense of hope for Philadelphia, which, sadly, is something to look forward to for Phillies fans. It has been a rough year so far. Things can only get better … right?

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  1. Well he didn’t he the grand slam but a 2 run single down 0-2 in the count when the game mattered… I think you owe me and Ryan Howard an apology #rememberthebasics score runs and don’t let them score

  2. Real quick since I don’t want to spend a lot of time arguing with anti-intellectual dolts.

    1. I do watch baseball games….. for a living.

    2. It’s just easier to argue with objective measures like stats than it is scouting terms. In the majors you reap what you sow and Howard is sowing declining bat speed and reaping sub-.500 SLG% and generally average numbers for a first baseman..

    3. Don’t use RBI as a measure of an individual’s performance.  It’s not one.  It’s mostly useless in determining who’s a good hitter and who’s not.

    4. He used to be REALLY good. He’s not anymore. It’s okay. I really like Ryan Howard, I do. He’s just not that good anymore.  And I wouldn’t care if he weren’t being paid in a way that might cripple the franchise. But he is.

  3. Guys like you should watch a baseball game once in a while and not check the box score when you wake up in the morning. While reading bill james most recent article on how to win a division champioship. The facts are that since he’s come into the league he has been the most productive hitter at doing one of the two most important facets of the game – getting runs across the board. Won an MVP, robbed of another, and oh yea won a world series

    And you will say prince this votto that or pujoils well guess what they all got bigger deals than him. How many have a accomplished what he has

    Read the script

  4. The Phillies had 57 wins at the all star break last year. This year they have 37 as of today…..stats can be twisted in anyway to make a point but you get extra points for creativity….nice job Eric

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