The 2006 National League MVP is having a horrifyingly bad season. What are they going to do about it, besides pout?
He’s hitting .183 and struck out three times last night, the seventh time it’s happened this season. And no one appears to be in a rush to do much about it. The manager continues to pencil him into the clean-up spot, and Howard continues to swing at everything. "You ground out. You fly out. You strike out. An out is an out," Howard told the Philadelphia Inquirer in March. "You don't hear anybody say, 'That guy led the league in groundouts last year.' "
That quote gets right to the heart of the problem. On pace for around 225 strikeouts, we get the point. We also recognize that your.686 OPS is about .300 points below where it needs to be for you to have much purpose batting clean-up. Meanwhile, the entire offense seems to be following the leader with terrible at bats, and lineup-wide change also hasn't happened.
“Strikeouts may be benign to sabermetricians,” Dave Sheinin writes in the Washington Post, “but they can still do damage in the bigger picture.”