Update Tuesday, 5:03 pm: Ryan Howard is heading to the DL with a “moderate ankle sprain” according to Ruben Amaro Jr. John Mayberry Jr. takes his spot on the roster, ending 24 hours of speculation. Howard was hitting .292 with 23 home runs and a National League-leading 81 RBI in 104 games for the Phillies this season.
This is a huge blow right in the middle of a pennant race. Howard becomes the 15th Phillie to hit the DL this year, an incredible number. What’s even more ridiculous is that they sit just three back in the NL East.
Monday, 10:57 pm: Not good. Yesterday, Ryan Howard said he thought he’d be out a short period of time. Charlie Manuel reiterated that, saying “I don’t expect him to miss much time. If anything, he might miss a day or two, but he very well could be in the lineup Tuesday.”
We find out this evening that it could be worse than that. Howard is on his way back to Philadelphia to have the ankle examined further, which means he’s almost certainly out of the Marlins series in Miami.
This would be an unbelievable blow to an already decimated club. Read here for Mike Baumann’s take on who would best replace Howard should he miss an extended period of time. My thought at first, as was probably the consensus, was that Ryan was headed to the DL after watching him wrench that ankle. That could still very well be the case and we’ll know more tomorrow.
If you’re a holy person, now might be a time to break out the prayers to the baseball Gods. The Phils can ill-afford to lose their most productive position player for long.