Howard Out 6-8 Weeks with Torn Meniscus; Halladay Progressing

RyanHowardRuben Amaro said today that Ryan Howard will miss 6-8 week as the result of an MRI showed a torn left meniscus for the first baseman. There is no word yet on when the surgery will occur, although it will happen soon. Darin Ruf will get the majority of the reps in Howard’s spot.

Howard had hit well since June 1, putting up a .885 OPS over his last 30 games. However, the pain in his left knee became too much to bear. The Big Piece also complained of pain in his right foot, which he said was not related to his achillies tendon tear or the knee. Amaro could not confirm if any of the injuries were anymore than normal wear and tear to a baseball player at 33 years old.

Amaro was confident Howard would be back on the field at some point this season. Should Ruf prove he belongs, how would that change the future?

Howard is due $85 million over the next three seasons with a buyout included in that total.

Amaro also said that Roy Halladay is progressing, there have been no setbacks during his rehabilitation process. Doc is throwing from 75 feet on flat ground, which will eventually become 120 feet should everything go well. Following that, Doc will begin to throw off a mound.



  1. hk

    July 8, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    Should Ruf prove he belongs, how would that change the future?

    Since Howard’s contract seems unmovable, if Ruf proves he belongs and can hit RHP’s and LHP’s, he could insert himself into the mix for the LF job next year (with Dom moving back to RF). If he proves that he can crush LHP’s, but is only okay or worse vs. RHP’s, maybe it will move the Phils to consider platooning him with Howard at 1B.

    • Ron

      July 8, 2013 at 5:40 pm

      I agree that Ruf’s best chance will be to play him in LF in 2014 if he is ready. Howard won’t be going anywhere unless he’s given away I can’t see any team agreeing to take him unless the Phillies pay just about all of the remaining years on the contract…but as for now I would be playing Ruf EVERYDAY at 1B for the next 6 to 8 weeks!!!

    • schmenkman

      July 8, 2013 at 6:07 pm

      Howard had a .861 OPS since May 21st. Hopefully Ruf can keep that going, or at least top .800 while Howard is out.

  2. Chuck A.

    July 8, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Ya know…I’m not even really upset about this. Maybe…just maybe… having Ruf in there will be just what this team needs right now. Sort of that “blessing in disguise” thing. Whatever…it is what it is and we have an important game…and series… starting in less than 2 hours.

    • Hogey's Role

      July 8, 2013 at 5:51 pm

      I couldn’t have said it better my self Chuck

  3. thomas

    July 8, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Ryan howard should retire. This would save the phillies millions and he would go out as a Philly

  4. bacardipr

    July 8, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Would you if you where in his shoes Thomas? Whilst i can see a slim chance of that happening maybe in his last year of his contract with some sort of buyout. I dont think anyone will leave all that money behind.

  5. Ajay

    July 8, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    If there’s a Ruf/Howard platoon next year, question: has there ever been a $25 million dollar platoon player in MLB before? I really don’t know.

    • schmenkman

      July 8, 2013 at 6:24 pm

      There aren’t many $25 million players, so there couldn’t have been many.

      Vernon Wells comes to mind, though, who makes about that much. If he wasn’t platooned in recent years, he should have been.

      • Ajay

        July 8, 2013 at 6:32 pm

        I guess I meant this: would having Howard as a $25 million dollar platoon player be unprecedented? i.e. has there ever been a time when one of the highest paid players in the game was so bad that he needed to be platooned? And for three years no less?!

      • schmenkman

        July 8, 2013 at 6:50 pm

        Vernon Wells in 2011-2013: $23M, $21M, $21M

        Overall in 2011-2013: .225/.261/.399 (.660 OPS) in 1,091 PAs

        vs. LHP in 2011-2013: .274/.317/.461 (.778 OPS) in 369 PAs
        vs. RHP in 2011-2013: .201/.233/.368 (.600 OPS) in 722 PAs

        It doesn’t look like he was platooned vs. righties, since his ratio of at bats vs. RHPs is about average, but clearly he should have been.

    • Bob D

      July 9, 2013 at 1:32 am

      The way I see it, if you platoon Howard @$25mil with Ruf @$.5mil is the same amount of money as starting Howard @$25mil and a bench player making $.5mil.

  6. TheDipsy

    July 8, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Howard is so bad, such a blight on a teams payroll, that no one would take him if you just offered gave him to a team for nothing in return. You can only hope that he gets beter and then gets his head screwed on straight. RE: Papelbon. He is just an assh@le. Papelbon, MYoung, DYoung, Utley (sadly), JRo (in the right deal), Ruiz – See ya.

    The Dipsy

    • Gorgeous Costanza

      July 8, 2013 at 6:53 pm

      I believe if Phillies took on 15 million on his contract, and asked for NO prospects in return, some teams might want to take a chance on Howard. But even that type of ridiculous deal would probably be hard to sell.

      The thing is, Ryan Howard is becoming a huge liability for the Phillies, even being a cancer because his contract is demoralizing for the whole ball club.

      If a guy who’s at best replacement level can cash in 25 millions per year, what incentives to play hard does the other players who are well paid have?

      Just ship Howard away. Eat as much of his contract you’d have to. He’s a distraction. And chances are probably better for him to revive some of the career he has left in an AL ballclub.

      Orioles could be a pretty good fit, they get very little out of their DH spot. Howard could make spot starts as a 1st baseman. Phillies should at least call around.

      • Ken Bland

        July 9, 2013 at 10:55 am

        “Ryan Howard is becoming a huge liability for the Phillies, even being a cancer because his contract is demoralizing for the whole ballcalub.”

        Know what would be really and truly sad? Here’s another in the widespread example of seemingly really ignorant statements by a fan (maybe the best example since a couple clowns on here decided Rollins wasn’t a role model even though it’s max likely they never spent 10 minutes seeing him interact with a teammate) that in reality, the opposing side can’t really dispute because they aren’t there either. So the truth is you can’t really say that RyHo’s large deal ISN’T demoralizing, even if not blatantly, even though I absolutely know better.

        Can’t dispute it, but the comments of some observors are just beyond label or description. An utterly amazing assessment of histeammates feelings. Good freaking lord.

  7. DavidE

    July 8, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    There are a lot of players who have been hurt after signing big contracts. Look at the New York Yankees. Half of the position players have been out for more than half the season. (Texeira, Rodriguez, Jeter, Granderson, Youkilis) How often has Johan Santana been on the mound with the Mets> How often was Pedro Martinez out with the Mets? It is a risk that happens in baseball. Look at Matt Kemp this year. Regarding Darin Ruf, he is being given the opportunity now. He has to produce to keep that opportunity and I am sure that he knows that. He can’t worry about Howard’s schedule. If he hits reasonably well, he will replace Nix as the pinch hitter. However, there is a big question about Howard. DId the medical staff really screw up and let him play when he was hurt?

    • "Big Ed" Delahanty

      July 8, 2013 at 7:27 pm

      An article on stated that the original diagnosis was not a tear, but inflammation. After he played on the knee, it become a tear.

      Maybe the Phils did mishandle it? Either way, I agree that Ruf has the opportunity to really shine, and as Chuck A. stated, it could be a blessing in disguise.
      Let’s crush the gNats.

    • Robotski

      July 8, 2013 at 7:47 pm

      DavidE, I agree. If Howard had inflammation back in May, why didn’t they do an MRI? Something had to be causing the inflammation.

      Another interesting “Piece of Information”…. they felt quite ok administering a steroid shot. Again without an MRI.

      Doesn’t seem like a reasonable way to treat their $25MM per year “Big Piece”!

      The Phillies crack medical staff is on par with their player development staff, or more accurately double bogey!

      • George

        July 8, 2013 at 9:18 pm

        They did do an MRI back when he was first hurting which showed no tear.

        If Howard was too sore to play, he was given time off. It’s his own fault, not the mdical staff’s if he didn’t always report how badly he felt.

        People who aren’t doctors need to shut up about medical concerns, and even if some commenters here happen to be orthopedic surgeons, they need to shut up too, unless they’ve actually examined the patient.

  8. bacardipr

    July 8, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    I would like to keep Ruiz on a short term deal. The Phillies catching prospects currently looking abysmal to say the least. Head of the pack is Rupp which correct if im wrong for the time been projects as a backup. This could will change in the near future. He has been hitting better it seems.

  9. teejvee

    July 8, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    Phillies fan: ” We hate Howard, he sux, trade him”


    Phillies fan;”Oh no ,what are we going to do?!!?!?!”

    • Ajay

      July 8, 2013 at 8:33 pm

      Uh…I don’t think anyone is really that worried about replacing Ryan Howard’s .5 WAR this year…

  10. "Big Ed" Delahanty

    July 8, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    @ George:
    I was only reporting what the article said. I could never make a judgment, since I am not a doctor. My question was rhetorical. : )

    • George

      July 9, 2013 at 12:48 pm

      I know your question was rhetorical. But that other guy’s wasn’t. In fact, it was totally eroneous saying that an MRI wasn’t done.

      Idiots like that clown always seem to stir up uneeded conjecture, and sometimes uneeded rhetorical questions.

  11. Indyman

    July 8, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    I look at it this way, Howard was under payed for just about the same time as he was over paid,

  12. George

    July 8, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    Where is the sympathy for Howard? Even if you make a lot of money, surgery is not a pleasant experience, and even minor surgery carries some risk.

    I hope Ryan Howard has a full and speedy recovery. He seems like a decent man despite the fact that he can’t hit lefties. It’s the decency that counts, not what he’s done or not done for the fans lately.

    • schmenkman

      July 8, 2013 at 9:44 pm

      Well said George, and of course, he’s been one of the best hitters on the team since mid-May, which they will be trying to replace.

    • Debby

      July 9, 2013 at 12:05 am

      George, I agree with you. Some silly and some stupid fans. Hoping Ryan can have a successful surgery and heal well. Think about a person sometimes.

  13. loupossehl

    July 8, 2013 at 9:53 pm



    Phillies fan;”Oh no ,what are we going to do?!!?!?!”

    Answer: Mayberry, Ruf.

    Next question … (crickets chirping)

    If I were Ryan Howard – already made wealthy beyond anyone’s wildest dreams and for whom an extra few million here or there now means diddly squat – my conscience would deeply bother me if I were to wring out every last dime from that enormous multi-year contract I signed. If I truly respected “team”, as opposed to me-me-me, my conscience would dictate that I “take one for the team” – in terms of some sort of meaningful pay cut or give-back, so that the team not be financially hobbled by the enormous sums they pay me – healthy and productive, or not.

    • schmenkman

      July 8, 2013 at 10:01 pm

      Lol, Lou — you can’t be serious with that second paragraph.

      Or the other ones, actually.

      • loupossehl

        July 9, 2013 at 12:09 am

        Hi Shmenkman –

        I’ve been a Phillies fan all my life. I may well be the oldest guy/gal here, as my fandom and loyalty date back to when Richie Ashburn was my hero playing for the Class A Utica (NY) Bluesox.

        It took a while, but over time I matured, and even though I’m a fan and follower for life, I’ve learned how not to worship at the altar of any jock, and to view them with circumspection as the ridiculously spoiled and “entitled” creatures they often assume themselves to be.

        There’s no question that a contract is a contract and that – in any legalistic sense – Howard is entitled to every penny the Phillies organization has bestowed upon him. Having said that, we’re not talking about tennis or golf or bowling or shuffleboard, where it’s the individual against the world: we’re talking about a team sport, where a bunch of guys presumably are “all in it together.” This holds true, I believe, even in this more cynical age in which multi-million dollar crybabies have a hissyfit if they’re not making as much or more as the next ridiculouly-paid superjock.

        Because of the absurd amounts of money thrown at our heros, a star’s under-performance, should it be a longer-term phenomenon, carries with it a double-whammy. That is, he hurts the team on the field, and at the front office level as a payroll suck. Yes indeed, if I’m being paid super-star bucks and, for whatever reason I chronically underperform (I’m hurt and/or I can’t hit lefties … whatever), then I’d look for some otther way that I could contribute. That is, I’d take something off of my personal table (say, 25 million down to 22 million – oh the anguish!), which would translate into helping the team on the field in a way I seemingly cannot. That is because, legalisms aside, it would be the right thing to do and while I am an athlete with the ability to hit a 450-foot HR (with the bases empty, of course), I also have a conscience.

        I promise that with the single term “conscientious athletic superstar”, I’m done with oxymorons for the evening.

      • schmenkman

        July 9, 2013 at 3:50 am

        Lou, I appreciate the thoughtful response. I just don’t believe that more than 1% of the world’s population would do what you suggest, and to expect or even request that is just not reasonable.

        By the way, the “with the bases empty” parenthetical is uncalled for, since he’s been one of the more clutch hitters in the game. As for that particular situation, here are his stats:

        bases empty: HR every 16.1 at bats
        men on base: HR every 16.1 at bats
        bases loaded: HR every 11.2 at bats

      • loupossehl

        July 9, 2013 at 10:31 am

        From a quick search of a couple minutes ago:

        [May 24, 2013] “Veteran center Jonathan Goodwin accepted a pay reduction of $1.2 million in base salary to strengthen his spot on the 49ers’ roster and create enough cap space for the team to sign its three remaining unsigned draft picks …”

        [February 25, 2013] “In a move that has shocked the sports world, today it was announced that Tom Brady is about to accept a more than 50% pay cut to stay with The Patriots for three more years. Brady signed a deal that will pay him $9 million per year instead of the $20 million he easily could have demanded on the open market. In total, Brady is leaving a mind boggling $30 million on the table by not seeking his fair market value. Why would he do this? Maybe Tom just doesn’t care about money anymore. After all, he is married to one of the richest super models on the planet. … Actually, in reality this discounted deal was a brilliant financial move that gives Tom the best chance at winning more Super Bowls which in turn will increase his value off the field by exponentially more in the long run.”

        [March 26, 2013] “The longest tenured Giant will be paid a lot less in 2013.

        David Diehl, the only current Giant to predate the arrival of Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning on the team, agreed to a pay cut in his 2013 salary, according to records on the NFLPA website. Due to earn $4.475 million in the final year of his contract, Diehl’s base salary for the upcoming season has been reduced to $1 million. It is a straight pay cut, unlike the restructuring that Corey Webster agreed to earlier this offseason; Diehl gets no bonus for agreeing to the reduction and no years added on. He will be a free agent after this season.

        Diehl said last week that he would consider redoing his contract if it helped the team secure other players … ”

        Shmenkman, I could go on with this, but you get the point: there are, evidently, somewhat more than your conjectured 1 percent or so of athletes on this planet who would “do the right thing.” Evidently Ryan Howard, by his inaction to this point, is not one of them. He is a grossly overpaid, underperforming salary suck.

      • schmenkman

        July 9, 2013 at 11:01 am

        So apparently all baseball players are greedy, selfish SOBs? Or did you find any of those (more recent than 1987 Andre Dawson)?

    • DavidE

      July 8, 2013 at 10:10 pm

      Howard has given the team his best effort and that is all they can expect. Injuries are a part of baseball and always have been, especially with older players. Nobody held a gun to the Phillies and said they had to guarantee him the money.

      • Hogey's Role

        July 9, 2013 at 9:55 am

        I wouldn’t say Howard is a clutch hitter… David Ortiz has been a clutch hitter, coming through when his team needs him especially late in a game… I’ve seen Ryan strike out alot late in games when we need a hit…. he’s been a good player for us and one of the best run producing RBI men in the sport, but I wouldn’t call him clutch…

      • schmenkman

        July 9, 2013 at 10:43 am

        Hogey — based on what? How much have you watched Ortiz?

        Because their stats in clutch situations don’t match that assessment.

    • George

      July 9, 2013 at 1:02 pm

      Lou, there is no way you can read Ryan Howard’s mind here: he may really feel horrible about not being able to perform.

      But as for giving money back, he can’t. The player’s union wouldn’t allow it. The examples you cited were all from other sports, which have different contract structures and different rules regarding them.

      The last baseball example I can think of was when ARod was almost traded to the Red Sox. He was, surprisingly, willing to renegotiate his contract downward so the Sox could afford him, but the union said “no way,” and he was eventually sent to the Yanks. All other pay cuts have been on new contracts.

      • loupossehl

        July 9, 2013 at 1:26 pm

        George, come to think of it, I think you’ve nailed it – it’s the baseball contract thing, and I’d overlooked the differences between the two sports and the role of the players’ union.

        Just great for the sport (baseball, that is), the teams, and the fans – right?

        As to how Ryan feels … Of course we don’t know but if it were me, I’d be inclined to make some statement to Phillies fandom. But doing so might well place me in the mere 1 percent of the planet that Shmenkman referred to. I’m old school as you can see from prior posts, and being from “way-back” I allow for such things as “team” and “commitment” and “loyalty.”

  14. Scooter

    July 9, 2013 at 12:47 am

    Blessing I’m disguise? What disguise? Blessing in the nude, my friends! Show ’em how it’s done, Ruffy.

  15. Hollis

    July 9, 2013 at 6:17 pm

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  16. Brian

    July 10, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    The same folks who show hatred towards Howard are the very same who wanted to be rid of Dom Brown last year, calling him a bust. Is Howard overpaid? Probably. Was he underpaid for his performance prior to the extension? Clearly. But no one wants to admit that fact. The haters expect Howard to hit 50hrs, drive in 140 runs, not strike out, and cure cancer for the money the team decided to give him. He never publicly held the team hostage for a new deal. Yet people fail to recognize that fact. And to say that he sux, well that’s just plain hatred expressed, which is very silly.

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