The Colorado Rockies are always looking for ways to potentially improve the team as it makes a run at the 2017 postseason. On Saturday afternoon, the Rockies may have done just that … if a former All-Star can rediscover his swing.
Prior to the Rockies taking on the Miami Marlins in the second game of a three-game series in south Florida, Colorado announced that it had signed former Philadelphia Phillies All-Star Ryan Howard to a minor league contract. Howard will reportedly report to Triple-A Albuquerque.
Howard won Rookie of the Year honor with the Phillies in 2005, swatting 22 homers and hitting .288. One season later, he was named as the league’s Most Valuable Player, logging 58 homers and 149 RBI while totaling 383 total bases.
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The following five seasons, Howard finished in the top 10 in MVP voting.
His time with the Phillies ended after the 2016 season, his 13th with the club as he struggled to a .196 average in 112 games. He was signed by the Atlanta Braves to start the 2017 season on a minor league contract. He was released from that in May.
In 11 games this season with Atlanta’s Triple-A squad, Howard hit just .184 with one homer and five RBI.
The 37-year-old Howard has performed well at Coors Field in the past, totaling 10 homers and 29 RBI with a .305 average in 34 starts.
The Rockies are hoping to hit the same kind of gold with Howard they did with Mark Reynolds, who was signed to a minor league contract before the 2017 season began. Reynolds not only made the team but has been one of Colorado’s biggest offensive contributors and a defensive stalwart at first base.