20 Pounds Lighter, Howard Says He's Ready

Although position players aren’t expected to report to camp for a few more days, Ryan Howard reported to Spring Training early, looking trimmer. He lost 20 pounds.

“I wanted to get to a playing weight and feel good, feel light, feel fast [and] strong and go from there. I definitely feel better. Endurance is better. Everything — my whole body — just feels a lot better.”

Howard also spoke about his 3 year, $54 million contract and the upcoming season.

“I think the biggest thing was trying to get something done as far as … not having to go to arbitration. The talks were actually very good. Back and forth, pretty quick.”

And to improve his defense — which had been criticized widely throughout his career — Howard worked at length with new coach Sam Perlozzo.



  1. NJ

    February 14, 2009 at 6:14 am

    If Ryan can be disciplined with his food fingers cross some of that discipline can spill over to the plate. It’s going to be nice to see what Ryan can do without the contract situation looming.

  2. Groty

    February 14, 2009 at 6:46 am

    Damn it, I thought his bat came from his belly.

    Atleast he didn’t pull a Prince Fielder and go vegetarian.

  3. Andrew R.

    February 14, 2009 at 8:13 am

    Well it is nice to see a positive attitude. He always said the right thing, but I think this contract stuff has really taken a load off his mind. Now just go out there and play ball.

  4. Tyler

    February 14, 2009 at 8:59 am

    i gotta say i like this news… sounds very promising… very nice to see some of the players putting extra work in this offseason

  5. Dleibs

    February 14, 2009 at 9:03 am

    did anybody else also see brett myers having lost 30 pounds! he looks ready to compete this year.

  6. KM

    February 14, 2009 at 9:38 am

    This is very encouraging. I just hope he can also cut down his strikeouts – even if he struck out 170 times, his average would be 15 points higher, and he would probably drive in more runs.

  7. Kev

    February 14, 2009 at 9:51 am

    i like the dedication and work ethic, this isn’t good for the rest of the league

  8. christopher

    February 14, 2009 at 9:57 am

    sounds like a step in the right step to start the road to next season.

  9. Geoff

    February 14, 2009 at 10:12 am

    This is exactly what howard needed. Im very pleased to hear be dropped 20 pounds. this will allow him to improve defensively and maybe stand closer to the plate as well. this is a positive thing. i didn know myers lost so much weight, which will mean hell be in better condition as well. good news all around.

  10. Griffin

    February 14, 2009 at 10:13 am

    I hope the 20 pounds he lost were the ones that couldn’t hit left-handed pitching.

    In all seriousness good for Howard. I’m not sure that taken extra grounders is going to improve his lack of mobility in the field, but it can’t hurt.

  11. BurrGundy

    February 14, 2009 at 11:51 am

    All parts of Howard’s game will improve, even defense. Discipline is a learned trait and the discipline he learned from losing weight will help his discipline at the plate. If this man has three more years like the last three, we are truly looking at a future Hall-of-Fame player and one of the truly great power hitters. Combine this with Utley, Rollins and Cole Hamels and WOW !!!! We have a lot to look forward to in 2009 and beyond.

  12. w

    February 14, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Guess he realized he shouldnt take roids anymore

  13. Georgie

    February 14, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    It sounds like he’s really trying to improve himself, the weight loss should make him more agile and able to scoop up some of those grounders a little better. I’m sure it was no easy task for him to lose that much weight, shows discipline and a good work ethic, very impressive.

  14. Grrrumpy Miner

    February 14, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    Groty…..I love a good steak all the time,but whats wrong with being a vageterian?


    February 15, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    I think – Now that Howard does not have a contract to play for, he will not have the drive and determination to continue putting up his numbers.

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