Colorado Rockies Sign Ryan Howard
When the Braves released former Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard, many felt that it would be the end of Howard’s career. However, at the time, Howard said he still wanted to keep playing baseball. Now, Howard finally has the opportunity. The Colorado Rockies announced via Twitter that they have signed Howard to a minor league contract.
The Rockies remain in playoff contention, a strong candidate to win one of the two National League Wild Cards. The Rockies paid big money to former Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond to play first base, but he has spent considerable time on the disabled list, including a current stint that began on July 28. The playing time at first base has mostly gone to the veteran corner infielder Mark Reynolds, who was signed to be a backup. Reynolds is batting .278 with 23 home runs and 78 runs batted in, but it’s possible the Rockies are looking for someone to get some left-handed at bats.
Howard will likely report to Triple-A affiliate the Albuquerque Isotopes. The Isotopes are where former Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown played the first half of 2017, prior to his July release. The team is named for an episode of The Simpsons entitled “Hungry Hungry Homer” in which Homer Simpsons discovers a plot by the team owner to move the Springfield Isotopes baseball team to Albuquerque.
Howard appeared in 11 games for the Triple-A Gwinnett Braves, batting just .184 in 38 at bats. The Braves released Howard when the club decided that his offensive production did not warrant a promotion in time for interleague games on the schedule that would necessitate a designated hitter.