With the 2013 MLB All-Star Game set to get underway next week, the Philadelphia Phillies aren’t out of the NL East hunt quite yet as they currently sit three games below .500 heading into Monday’s game against the Washington Nationals and only trail the Atlanta Braves by 7.5 games. Unfortunately, if the Phillies are going to stay in the hunt over the next two months, they’re going to need to figure out a way to do it without Ryan Howard.
The first baseman is expected to miss 6-8 weeks now that he’ll need surgery to repair a torn meniscus–which is the last thing Philadelphia needs to deal with at this point in the season. Howard may not be living up to his hefty $125 million extension that he signed back in 2010, but it’s difficult to ignore the fact he was batting .266 to go along with 11 home runs and 43 RBIs on the year–so he’ll certainly be missed in the offense.
Obviously, this news is crushing for the Phillies considering Howard’s history of injuries (he missed most of last season while recovering fro ma torn Achilles’ tendon) and there’s a chance he could even more time depending on how long this latest injury takes to heal. Philadelphia’s offense has already been inconsistent for most of the 2013 season and now that one of their top power hitters will most likely be sidelined for the next couple months–it will be interesting to see how the team adjusts with Howard out of the lineup.