Howard: 5-6 Month Recovery

The Phillies hope Ryan Howard can be back in their lineup in April.

He had surgery this morning in Baltimore to repair a completely torn Achilles tendon in his left leg. Foot and ankle specialist Mark Myerson performed the surgery and also administered a PRP injection. The Phillies said the surgery was successful, and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a statement, “It’s going to be five to six months from the surgery until he can play at his accustomed level.”

Howard tore the Achilles making the final out Friday in Game 5 of the National League Division Series.

“A lot depends on how he recovers,” Amaro said. “The start of the season could be impacted, but I still hope he makes his first at-bat of the season.”

The Phillies said Howard will be immobilized one to two weeks, and could begin weight bearing and strength in about a month, but that depends on his recovery.


Ryan will work hard to fully recuperate from this injury. No one should question his work ethic. But, if it’s not too late in his career, he needs to learn some discipline at the plate.

On the one hand he did reverse a trend this year by seeing 4.13 pitches per at bat, the 4th highest rate in baseball. A good sign that he is trying to improve his discipline. However, that low inside and outside slider has continued to elude him. He really has struggled to ever recognize the difference between that and a fastball. He should spend his downtime (when not rehabbing) working on his batting eye in Tony Gwynn fashion. Have tennis balls labeled with a number written on sharpie in it. Have that ball sent through a pitching machine to him. Can’t hit it but have to successfully recognize the number. Eventually you can work in breaking balls on that. That should help show him how to recognize the difference.

That should help….. During the regular season, we’ll just have the homeplate umpires write numbers on the balls before they throw them to the pitcher…

If the Phils can manage without Ryan for two months, it might be better if he comes back 100% healed in June or July and rakes for the rest of the year, rather than if he comes back early, struggles, gets reinjured and is out of baseball for the rest of his life. The Phils need to protect him for the “length of his contract”. Maybe the Phils can sign Carlos Pena to a one-year contract. We know what that guy can do if he is surrounded by the right players (which the Cubs didn’t have). And when Ryan is ready to come back, the Phils can trade Pena (if he’s doing well by then) or put him on the bench and save him for DH in the WS.

I still think it’s going to be Mayberry.

Pena? The guy is a strikeout machine. Hit .225 ans struck out 161 times in 606 plate appearances. They don’t need another guy with a bad approach. Plus, he made $10 million with the Cubs in 2011. Need any more reasons to leave him alone?
Use your head, man.

Yes Pena is another Ryan Howard but with a much lower Batting Avg. Call me crazy, but I think Charlie could help the guy be a better hitter. Of course, he would never do that if Ryan is healthy and could play the whole season.

Pena will be lucky to get $5 million in a one-year deal after last season. That’s another reason why I think he could be a low-risk, high reward player, the kind Ruben might take a chance with.

Club house chemistry can change a player’s approach. With the Phils’ pitching, there would be less pressure on Pena to get the big hit needed to win a game. Take that pressure off, and he becomes a more relaxed hitter, which always translates to a better hitter.

while not pushing for Pena, the ammount they made last year is irelevent unless they are still under contract. Pena is a FA and can (and will) be signed for much less. If they can get a guy who can play 1B and either 3B or LF as well, I’d go as high as 5 million if he’s good. We need a contact hitter with mid range power (.280/20/80) problem is, there aren’t many out there

It’s not irrelevant. Do you think he’s going to settle for less than half of what he made this season? What color is the sky in your world?

They should target Michael Cuddyer. The guy is a decent hitter and can play just about every postion ouside of SS and catcher. He’ll be in demand, but they have to do it.
They should have signed Mark DeRosa a few years back when they had the chance. This guy is the same type of player with a little more power.

You mean Mark “always injured” De Rosa? Yeah, Ruben’s an idiot for not getting him….

“Always injured”? So, he’s been hurt the last two years, as if you knew that would happen. The point is, he’s the kind of player the Phillies need…like Cuddyer. They have no versatility in their lineup. The idea that eight guys can play every day doesn’t work,

Yes, Michael Cuddyer would be a smart move. He only made $10.5 million this year. When you couple his potential salary with his age (33 in 2012) he has the potential to fit right into Junior’s Brokendown, Overpaid Oldmen’s Club. If Junior is going to add to the Club, why not Aaron Rowand.for a year? He would only cost the minimum since he will be paid by the Giants in 2012. He could possibly play center field if Pence doesn’t pan out playing the position. And, Junior could clear center field for Pence by entertaining offers for Victorino who is not going to get any better if he isn’t already on the downside of his career. Think about it, other than Pence, how has Junior strengthened or even just maintained the Phillies non-pitcher end of the roster.

Aaron Rowand stinks. He can’t hit and he has zero versatility. Michael Cuddyer can play 5 positions besides being a solid bat, which is why he is in demand. The whole point is to go after a player who can make you better, and that will cost you some money. They have it.
And there’s a reason Pence has not played CF since his rookie year. He is not a CFer. Mayberry is the only other OFer who could possibly play the position, but he is going to have to fill in at 1B (until Howard gets back) and LF (until Brown gets at-bats in AAA). Besides the fact that Victorino will have to be the leadoff hitter after some crazy GM gives JRoll an obscene contract. Try again, pherris.

The Phillies payroll this year was $165 million. So far for 2012 they have 9 players under contract and buyouts totaling $112.9 million. Hamels, Pence, Bastardo, Kendrick and Valdez made $19.8 million in 2011 and are all eligible for arbitration. Conservatively, these players will add $30 million to the payroll. So we are now up to $142.9 for 14 players at which point Oswalt and Rollins have to either be resigned or replaced. Let’s be really conservative and add $20 million for these two. We are now at $162.9 for 16 players. Throwing in another $10.5 for Cuddyer brings us up to $173.4 million and 17 roster spots. Calculating the remaining 8 roster spots at half a million each or $4 million brings the total to $177 million without any contingencies. phan52, my friend, it is you who has to try again. Unless the Phillies are willing to go into Luxury Tax Land they are going to max out.

They are not going to re-sign Rollins because, once he hits the open market, somebody is going to give him a ridiculous contract. Oswalt, Lidge and Ibanez are as good as gone. With Blanton returning, they have 6 pitchers who can start in 2012. A player like Cuddyer is essential to this team because the guy is versatile and can fill in at multiple positions, protecting them in the case of injuries and allowing guys to get some rest. You have to pay for that. The big decision for the Phillies will be the closer. They can pay Madson (I think they should) or go after one of the multiple options available on the market. They have already showed they think it is essential to pay for a closer by the contract they gave Lidge.

I don’t think the Phillies are going to have to concern themselves with the luxury tax unless there are multiple injuries and they have to cover themselves at the trading deadline. Ruben will be creative in some areas, including a 2012 friendly extension for Cole Hamels, so they will not be paying Cole an arbitration settlement. Bastardo is not arby eligible.

I keep reading posts that say “someone” will offer Jimmy a ridiculous contract. WHO?….. Jimmy said he would settle for 4 years with a PLAYER option for a 5th year. I’d like to see Jimmy sign with the Phils because I think he is a vital part of that famed clubhouse chemistry, but the Phils shouldn’t give him more than 3 yars with a CLUB option for a 4th year. He has to realize that he has had lingering, nagging injuries over the past couple of years that have hindered him from playing up to his potential. 5 years is too risky for the Phils…

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