The Phillies offense is a struggling one considering this was a team projected to repeat what they did last season and advance to post season play. The biggest players on their team have just recently joined the team, coming off injury, which makes this the team of old.
Yes, it forces us to throw out all pre season ranks and personally I wanted to draft Ryan Howard a late round flier as his ADP was around #150. The fact that he is just now getting into the lineup leaves us with the uncertainty that he gets half of what he was able to generate last year which was a regression from the year prior and considered a down year. The fact that Chase Utley is actually in the lineup proves to be an interesting tandem that fantasy owners know each is dependent on the other. Ryan Howard’s last two seasons have been relatively consistent and it is expected he could be short of the projected 40Runs, 30HRs, 50RBIs and a 275AVG or so.
There remains a few players and first baseman alike that are doing this already-Anthony Rizzo, Tyler Colvin, Paul Goldschmidt, Ike Davis and Logan Morrison just to name a few-and other than Rizzo are not going to require getting a feel for the pitchers at the major level having just recovered from injury. He will look to hit for power more so than ever that way his base running will be limited initially. Given the time off he probably is not in shape more so than before to run the bases and trotting will give his Achilles a rest. This could put him in the mode to hit singles and HRs or a lot of strikeouts trying to press. He is owned in just about every league and he may be available shortly in your league. Here is to hoping BOTH Chase Utley and Ryan Howard stay healthy.
Howard was treated with a standing ovation from the Phillies crowd in his first at bat, the crowd was so excited they gave Utley a roaring ovation as well. It was like opening night all over and this team does deserve something to cheer about having been stricken by the injury bug. He managed a double, but was left stranded at second base. He later singled in the seventh, giving him half of Phillies hits against starter Tim Hudson and managed no runs. He will not play everyday which makes getting him in the your lineup as often as some other productive 1B can be tough at this point. The wait may not be worth it but having held on this long you can hope for nothing but a HR hitter and an increase in RBIs while the lineup stays healthy.