Howard’s Knee Problem

The Howard DealRyan Howard woke up this morning with his left knee sore, but less so than yesterday.

Get used to it.

Howard did not play yesterday in Washington because of the injured knee, which required a cortisone injection May 19. But he was in the lineup for tonight’s series opener against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

“Right now I’m just looking at it day to day,” he said. “Sometimes it’s a little more, sometimes it’s a little less. Obviously that’s going to be something. Right now I’m looking at it day to day, and trying to run with the good days.”

Howard said surgery is “obviously the worst-case scenario. I guess kind of if all else fails.”

But he said surgery has not been discussed at this point. But certainly a balky knee for a hulking first baseman that missed much of last season recovering from a ruptured left Achilles is cause for concern. Howard is in just the second year of a five-year, $125 million contract, which is the fifth-largest contract in baseball history based on average annual value ($25 million), and his on-base-plus-slugging percentage, a good indicator of a hitter’s overall productivity, has been in decline since 2009.

“His leg is going to always be bothering him,” Charlie Manuel said. “He has some arthritis. It comes and goes in his legs. He’s going to always be bothered by that. On the days when it really hurts him bad, maybe those are the guys where I have to communicate him. He has to tell me.”

Howard is hitting .254 with six home runs, 25 RBIs and a .719 OPS in 181 plate appearances. Howard is tied for 56th in RBIs and tied for 79th in home runs. In the past, he has been near the top in those categories.

Asked if he would drop Howard in the lineup, Manuel said, “He’s kind of different than all those other hitters. If he’s hitting the ball, he stands a good chance of knocking in runs. I don’t really think moving him in the lineup makes a whole lot of difference really. How he’s hitting on that day is how he’s hitting. Some days he has bad days and other days when he’s doing good … if anything, I don’t particularly like sending him a message. I don’t think it’s time in his career for me to send him a message.”

So the Phillies will have to hope Howard can manage the continual discomfort in his knee, which he acknowledges affects him at the plate.

“Obviously it plays a factor with it being my push-off leg, you try to get that extra torque,” he said. “But if I’m out there I’m trying to do what I have to do. I’m not making excuses.”

15 Comments

The answer isn’t cortisone injections.Only so many can be given without damage
Would you ask Charley Y he continues to play Revere and if he MUST why at the top of the order when he is almost an automatic out. he can’t hit he takes few walks and for supposedly have so much speed,he’s hit into a lot of double plays. He should be running as many deep counts as he can.I took up for Charley ,especially the last 2 years because the Wonder Boy GM they hired gave him nothing to work with.However Charley has just become to damn hard headed and his decision are costly.

other than dom brown who on the team is not an automatic out. this is the most pathtic offense team i think they have had in many years.

to all the phillie die hards who think this is a good team, please put down the crack pipe. this team is on the way to lose at least 85 games if they are lucky. that idiot gm (amaro) goes and signs a player michael young who a few years was a good player, but those days are over as far as mikey being a offensive player. right now he is hitting .260 with a whopping 1 home run and a staggering 10 ribbies. a .260 batting average is great if you have a slugging percentage of .450 or more. than you have a center fielder that the half wit signs that will go his entire career without hitting a ball out of the park. now lets talk about howard and utley. anybody who thought they would last the year and be as productive as they once were must have been dreaming. as much as i like utley, him and howard are finished as far as being good everyday players. it is time for the team to move on and try to unload these two. funny thing the one player that the phillie fans wanted run out of town (dom brown) is their only consistent player so far this year.

Good lord. Learn to write coherently or go away…

this is a baseball site not dale carnegie, girlyboy

A site about baseball is justification for writing like a moron? I had no idea… Does either shift key actually work on your keyboard, or is that a stylistic choice?

Hey KOBAR! Thanks for letting us know your real name! I appreciate it very much!

If Ryan’s knee is arthritic, it can’t be healed by resting it. I think Ryan needs to talk to Chase about working out the muscles around the knee to strengthen them. Chase has become a kind of expert on that in recent years.

Am I he only one who was shocked that Charlie and Dubee let Adams throw 30 pitches in his first outing since coming off the DL? Unless they never actually shut him down during his stint on the DL, it would seem to make sense to ease Mike back into his role in the pen by throwing 15-20 pitches in his first return. Now he can’t pitch tomorrow. I think Cliff Lee knows that he will have to pitch deep into the game if he wants a win.

I like how Charlie states he does not like sending Howard a message. Is this just confirmation that he has never offered instructions to Howard during all of their years together? Probably not. I am sure the “hitting guru” has tried to impart some kernels of wisdom to Howard from his vast reservoir of hitting knowledge from which we can only conclude, judging from results, that either Charlie is not much of a teacher or that Howard is not much of a student. Regardless, at this stage of his career, Howard is probably beyond redemption. Charlie should be concentrating on putting the best team on the field on a game to game basis rather than assuaging any one players ego.

At some point they are going to have to sit Howard and go to plan B. Maybe not this year, but that contract is killing them, especially in light of the lack of production. Financially, it may be best if they put Howard on the bench (maybe they can trade him and eat some of the contract, but I doubt it) and play Ruf as their new full-time 1st baseman. That would be the cheapest way out. If they are clearly out of it by All-Star Break (highly likely), then I hope they send Ryan to surgery with fingers crossed and play someone else at 1st base the rest of the year. He has been very inconsistent even at full strength, he is next to worthless when hurt. Let him get fixed and see if they can salvage at least some of that contract next year.

You heard Cholly. He said it’s not the right time to send him a message by lifting him from the cleanup spot. Howard’s poor, fragile ego just couldn’t take a hit like that. Lord knows what he might do if he was downgraded to batting 6th or 7th…perhaps stuff his piehole with TastyKakes?

the signings of michael young, ben revere,, delmon young, and mike adams are sending the phillies towards a 100 win season lmfao. amaro at his best

Ben Revere was a trade, not a signing.

whatever, your right raj gave a promising minor league prospect (trevor may) and worley who was a bust before they sent him down. by the way worley threw a shutout against lehigh valley the other night.

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