Yes, loyal readers, it has been a while since my last post. I am busy at school; so yes, we teachers do work. It’s not just people in the private sector. Anyway, here is a good article by David Murphy about Ryan Howard. Basically it is about the Phillies big contract players and performance. I want to make one last case for platooning Howard and Ruf at first. Yes, I know Charlie would never do that as he is loyal to a fault. Yes, Ruf was in AA two weeks ago. But if you are trying to get a wild card spot, you need to pull out all the stops. I wouldn’t be shocked if La Russa did something like this. Not that I was a La Russa fan by any means, but you have to admire how he used his bench last year in the NLDS.
Let’s look at the splits. This year, against lefties, Howard is hitting .163 with a .209 OBP and a .300 slugging percentage. He has struck out 38 times in 80 at bats with 3 home runs and 10 RBI. Ruf, against lefties in AA this year, hit .392 with a .480 OBP and an .845 slugging percentage. In 148 at-bats he struck out only 18 times, hit 19 HRs and drove in 48 runs.
Again, I know he was in AA and Ryan Howard is a veteran who makes about $25 million a year. But you can’t tell me with a straight face that playing Ryan Howard against lefties right now gives you a better chance to win.