Howard given ultimatum from Mackanin but is it warranted

Howard might not have too much to smile about this season if he doesn’t get hitting with the Phils

This past week brought us some Ryan Howard news. No, not the one where a report was broadcast by Al Jazzera that Ryan had apparently linked to some steroid scandal. No, this one was more personal to Howard and it came from Phils manager Pete Mackanin.

Mackanin was asked about Ryan Howard from the Philadelphia Inquirer a few days ago and said that he would possibly be platooning Howard this year, and if he doesn’t hit, he would sit.

This from last year’s lack of quality hitting from Howard, who turned 36 in November, appeared in 129 games for the Phils last year and had 23 HR and 77 RBI. Yes, Howard needs to raise his average, but those numbers weren’t that bad for 129 games.

Is Mackanin trying to flex his muscles now that he is in the first year of his 1 year contract to manage the Phils?

It seems that Howard is not going to be changing his ways anytime too soon, he hasn’t hit very well for years, especially against lefties. Yet in 2014, he hit 23 HR’s and banged in 95 RBI. Those kind of numbers generally get you paid about what Howard is now making per year, so is this declaration from Mackanin just a bunch of hot air?

We’ll see what happens with Ryan Howard this season, he’s 36 but I don’t think he’s over the hill just yet. Can he get a bat on the ball better this year? If his average was .300 but only drove in 60 runs for the Phils would that be ok?  

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