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Philadelphia Phillies Record: 50-77
5th in National League East
Home: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Capacity: 46,528
Phillies to cut Ryan Howard’s playing time
It appears as though the end is near for long-time Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard.

We’ve seen this coming for a while now. As Howard continued to struggle (his .154 batting average and .219 on-base percentage rank 188th out of 188 MLB players with at least 150 plate appearances) it’s become more obvious that his playing time should decrease.

And now, with the presence of the intriguing Tommy Joseph now jumping to the forefront, it seems clear manager Pete Mackanin is ready to award Joseph with much more playing time.

“We brought Joseph up here for a reason, to get a look at him,” Mackanin said. “I can’t let him stagnate on the bench like (Darin) Ruf ended up doing, so he’s going to face some right-handed pitchers to keep his timing. I don’t know when the next time we’re going to face a left-handed pitcher is, but I’m going to use (Joseph) a little bit more often than I did Ruf.”

Interestingly, Mackanin referenced Ruf and how his lack of playing time “stagnated” the veteran first baseman. Ruf never started more than two games in a row during his straight platoon with Howard this season, and some weeks only got one or two starts.

Nevertheless, Ruf is now in Triple-A and Joseph is on the big club. And it appears it’s Joseph that’s going to get the chance to prove he’s more than just a platoon bat.

Howard has struck out in 33% of his plate appearances this season. He is batting .097 in the month of May. Each single seems worthy of celebration. Meanwhile, since being called up, Joseph is batting .286/.286/.571 with three homers and a .286 ISO.
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