After missing nearly the first half of the season recovering from a torn Achilles tendon suffered late in 2011, Ryan Howard’s 2012 campaign will be cut short by a different injury – the Philadelphia Phillies have announced Howard has a broken toe and will sit for the remainder of the season.
Howard broke his toe when he dropped a lead pipe on it, and this injury will sideline him for the final several games while he recovers and gets ready for 2013. Howard endured a very disappointing season, batting just .219 with 14 home runs and 56 runs batted in, posting a .718 OPS that was 117 points lower than his mark last year and a full 366 points lower than his MVP campaign of 2006.
Howard drew just 25 walks and struck out 99 times, making him just the second player in baseball history to strike out as many as 99 times in 260 or fewer at-bats. He posted a .295 on-base percentage that rated 143rd among 157 National League hitters with at least 250 plate appearances, alongside players like Chris Snyder, Casey McGehee, and Josh Thole.
It’s not entirely fair to grade Howard’s performance on an injury-filled season, which is why 2013 will be so vital to the Phillies’ big slugger bouncing back at full strength. Howard still has four years remaining on the five-year, $125 million contract extension he signed early in 2011. That keeps him in Philly through 2016 plus an option year for 2017 that includes an outrageous $10 million buyout.
Darin Ruf will play first base while Howard is sidelined.