Ryan Howard has a history of injuries. Last season he suffered a knee injury that required surgery, but he returned for the last three games of 2013. Manager Ryne Sandberg recently gave a quick update about Howard for the 2014 season, but can Howard live up to the expectations of the Philadelphia Phillies?
Sandberg has said that Howard dropped weight during the offseason, and he has been working out non-stop. General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. believes that Howard is going to be back to his old self providing the offense he used to. They believe he is 100 percent.
But is he really? The Phillies like to believe that players are healthy. They kept believing Roy Halladay was fine and kept allowing him to pitch. He would later be placed on the disabled list and is now enjoying retirement. Other players have been found guilty of playing hurt which not only hurt them but hurts the team as well. Hopefully the Phillies are right about Howard this season.
Before Howard got hurt he had an average of .266 with 43 RBI and 11 home runs in 80 games. Those numbers could have possibly doubled if he didn’t get injured.
But would that really have been a possibility? Howard is 34-years-old. His body is not the same as when he was younger. His power is not the same, and he has to be careful with every move he makes. One wrong turn either batting or covering first can cost him another season.
The front office believes Howard is going to be back to his normal self this season, but it’s going to take a lot of work for that to happen. It all starts in just a few weeks. Will their optimism be right? Only time will tell.