January 18, 2005

Topic of the Day: Ryan Howard

A nice dialogue on Ryan Howard has opened up on Michael Berquist's Citizen's Blog. Check it out.

As for my opinion on what do with Howard, I believe the Phillies should keep him. I think he should start the season in Scranton, however, where he can play every day and stay sharp, rather than sit on the bench and back up Thome in Philadelphia.

This fall in Arizona, the Phillies tested his skills in the outfield and had good results. If that's where they envision Howard's future with the Phils, it's an even better reason to start him at Scranton where he can keep learning the position at the expense of no one.

Another reason why I want Howard to stay is simple: he adds a dynamic presence to a team that has gotten quite stale. When was the last time a big, slugging lefty moved through the system? How about an African-American?

A while back, I wrote about Scranton and this tendency for the Phillies not to send players back once they've scratched the surface of the big leagues. I believe Howard, Gavin Floyd and Marlon Byrd should all be there to start 2005 where they can continue to develop. I know playing on the forest green turf at Scranton sucks, but it's better than sitting.

Marlon Byrd
Marlon Byrd was perhaps the best Phillies minor leaguer in the last decade. Now they want to trade him for Jeff Bennett.

Keep him. I have my doubts about Kenny Lofton and Jason Michaels as even a short-term solution in center. There's no harm at all in keeping Marlon Byrd. That's what AAA is for, and that's where Ryan Howard, Marlon Byrd and Gavin Floyd must go.


At 12:06 PM, Blogger el123chico said...

i agree with you on all counts. let them all start at AAA and get the playing time they need. giving up on marlon byrd right now would be ridiculous. although if howard can make the successful transition to the outfield, who is the odd man out? burrell and abreau seem to be fixtures, but would abreau move to center to allow howard to play right?

At 12:16 PM, Blogger will travel said...

I also agree, keep Howard for insurance. Start at SWB, unless his spring is very impressive, then up to the Bigs for interleague at Baltimore 20May, then try to give him at bats when against the NL. They did this with Eric Valent a few years ago...he sucked at the chance..amazingly he had an OK season with the Mets last year.

At 3:28 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Thanks for the direct to my blog on the discussion Mike. I think agree on keeping Howard, but I don't think keeping Howard necessarily means that the Phillies have to ditch Burrell. As for Byrd, I've personally given up hope on him ever developing.

At 3:58 PM, Blogger Jason Weitzel said...

Stranger things have happened, but Byrd was awful last season. Maybe it was a fluke.

For the Reading-area people, like Will Travel and me, we saw a centerfielder come through this town and hit 28 home runs, play wicked defense in center, and win the EL MVP. Our opinion might be slightly skewed, but I just don't see any reason to deal him now unless he's part of a package deal. Straight up for Jeff Bennett, which was close to happening a month ago, seems like a waste.


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