A week ago I wrote an article wondering if the Philadelphia Phillies were concerned about the health of first baseman Ryan Howard. His season ended short in 2013 as he suffered a knee injury and ended up needing surgery. Now it seems that Howard is going to be the rock for this season.
If the Phillies are going to be depending on one player their season is going to be over before it even starts. Baseball is a team sport; everyone has to contribute.
It seems like general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. wants to think differently. Without Howard in the lineup the Phillies are 77-107. However, last season the Phillies cannot really pay attention to those stats. The team had their first losing season since 2002, and that cannot be blamed on the absence of Howard because he joined the team in 2004.
Amaro wants to believe Howard can change the team around. He recently said that Howard seems completely healthy. The GM thinks Howard can become the player he once was and forget about the struggles he has had.
My guess as to why Amaro is relying so much on Howard is because of the money invested in the first baseman. He still has $85 million on his contract in the next three years. Amaro has been criticized for the deal, and if Howard performs everyone will be quiet.
Howard just turned 34-years-old in November, and his health is always going to continue to be a concern. It is going to take a lot for Howard to get back to his old self.
The Phillies have not made a major move this offseason, and many believe they are waiting to see what kind of health Howard is really in. As I said earlier baseball is a team sport. You aren’t going to win games with just one player. When is Amaro going to realize that?