By Andrew Porter (@And_Porter)
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — On April 26, 2010 the Phillies signed first baseman Ryan Howard to a five-year contract extension, worth $125 million. Howard was the NL MVP in 2006, the NL home run champ in 2006 and 2008, a World Series champion in 2008, and one of the best power hitters in all of baseball. How quickly we forget.
Over the past three seasons, Howard has dealt with injury problems and his production has suffered. As his performance declined, so did the Phillies’ and people are noticing.
On Thursday’s Audio Roadshow poll question, the WIP Morning Show asked Phillies fans if they want Howard to finish his career as a Phillie. Surprisingly, over 60% of voters said no. The question sparked the interest of the WIP Morning Show after Chase Utley was intentionally walked with a runner on second base and two-outs, in the eighth inning of a 0-0 game on Wednesday night. The Padres elected to face Howard rather than Utley with the go-ahead run in scoring position. Howard struck out swinging.
Audio Roadshow: View poll here
After averaging over 43 home runs per season and playing in at least 140 games in his first six full major league seasons, Howard has combined to hit a mere 36 home runs and play in only 213 out of 387 games since the start of the 2012 season.
Finally healthy, Howard has played in 62 of 63 games in 2014. However, he is batting .238 with 11 home runs and 41 RBI’s, while leading all of baseball in strikeouts with 82. Howard’s wins above replacement (WAR) is -0.2.
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