Colorado Rockies: A discussion with Ryan Howard

ATLANTA, GA - JULY 30: Ryan Howard
ATLANTA, GA - JULY 30: Ryan Howard /

As we reported over the weekend, the Rockies signed first baseman Ryan Howard to a minor-league contract. He was assigned to Triple-A Albuquerque and he talked to the media in Albuquerque before the finale of their three-game series against the Fresno Grizzlies (the Triple-A team for the Houston Astros) and before heading out on an eight-game road-trip.

Ryan Howard was interviewed by the media in Albuquerque before today’s game and here are some of the highlights.

Howard was asked about what he is looking to get out of signing with the Rockies and he had this to say.

"“I mean right now, [I’m just] continuing to get the work and then, [the Rockies front office and manager Bud Black] will make that decision [of whether I get to play in the majors] but for me, just to continue to get the work in that I need, get developed, and go from there.”"

He also discussed on what he needs to work on the most if he wants to make it back to the major leagues.

"“Getting back into the game situation. Last night was my first game situation so, all in all, getting the [win] last night, that’s the most important thing but [for] myself, personally…going 1-for-6, I was pretty pleased with some of the at-bats. [I’m] a little bit further ahead than where I thought I would be for not seeing constant game action for a while so [I’m] kind of trying to build on that…I felt good. I felt good running, I felt good playing first [base]…Being up here in the altitude a little bit is a little different so [I] have to get adjusted to that…but [my] body has bounced back and [it’s] responding well.”"

Before yesterday’s 22-1 win against Fresno, Howard had only played in 11 games this season, all with the Gwinnett Braves, the triple-A team of the Atlanta Braves (who are, ironically, facing the Rockies tonight to start a four game series). He hit .184 in those game.

Later, he talked about why he signed with the Rockies.

"“I think the Rockies have a great nucleus of guys. [They] are very, very similar to the days back in Philadelphia where we had a young, nucleus of guys–a core group of good guys–that know how to win and want to go out there and win so [for] me, getting up there and getting the opportunity to come along for a ride with those guys and try to contribute [in] whatever way I can, that’s all you can really ask for at this point.”"

Playoff experience

Howard had some playoff experience with the Phillies as the Howard and the Phillies went to the playoffs every year from 2007 to 2011. They won the World Series in 2008.

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The following year, in 2009, the Phillies and Rockies faced each other in the NLDS, Howard came up to bat against Rockies closer Huston Street in the ninth inning with two out and two on down by a score of 4-2.

If Street would have gotten Howard out, the Rockies would have gone to Game Five but Howard delivered a crushing blow to the Rockies by getting a 2-run double to tie the game at four.

The next batter, Jayson Werth, delivered the knockout blow by getting an RBI single to score Howard and make the game 5-4 Phillies. The Rockies never recovered. The Rockies also haven’t been to the playoffs since.

Howard talked about the moment that he had against the Rockies.

"“It would great if I could do that same thing and be with the Rockies and say ‘get me to the plate’ in that situation now for Colorado, that would be pretty cool. I think that you could kinda say that [I] would be coming around full circle.”"

Next: Braves v. Rockies: series preview

The Rockies and fans are hoping that it will come to fruition.