Ryan Howard has been benched, no, not for one game, but for two, (Friday night’s game and will be benched for Saurday’s game) and this is because of a 0-16 hitting slump. Charlie Manuel had a meeting with Howard on Friday that was also joined by hitting coaches Steve Henderson and Wally Joyner, telling Howard about the benching. Manuel said Howard will return to the lineup on Sunday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
They have two left-handers going in a row. Ryan will sit tomorrow, too. He’ll do hitting drills. I want to give him some time to clear his head. Right now he looks uncomfortable and he’s not seeing the ball good. We want him feeling better against left-handers. He’s fine with it (the benching).
Ruben Amaro Jr. said,
His average is OK. He’s struggled at times. He’s streaky, but not as streaky on the positive side as he typically is. He could carry a team at times and he hasn’t done that yet. He hasn’t performed to his capabilities. He’s a better player than he’s showed this year. I think his injuries have taken a toll on him. How much it has affected him mentally, I don’t know. It may be affecting him mentally a little bit. His track record, more than anything else. More than anything else, he has to get to the point where he is healthy again. Health means something to these guys mentally. It’s hard to play at 100 percent when you’re not 100 percent. He can still be a very productive player. It’s a matter of getting him back to 100 percent. He needs to get his mojo back. One works with the other.
Howard is batting .268 with 10 homeruns and 41 RBIs, and that’s just not good enough.