Ryan Howard has played just 151 games the last two years due to injury but the Phillies first baseman isn’t looking for too many days off.
In fact he’d rather have zero.
That won’t happen. Manager Ryne Sandberg has talked about resting his aging starters more often. The fact that Howard doesn’t heartily endorse this idea isn’t such a bad thing. A team should be happy when its players want to play all the time.
“For me, I want to try to be out there and play every day,” Howard said before the team departed for Texas and Monday’s game in Arlington against the Ranger.
Who will win the NL East this year?
Howard understands that Sandberg is trying to do what he feels is best for the Phillies, but the first baseman has a differing opinion.
“Ryno has game plan and will try to go with it and when he sees there are opportunities to give us days off, then he will try to give us a day,” Howard said. “My mindset, Chase’s (Utley’s) mindset, everybody’s mindset here is you’re showing up every day ready to play.”
There could be worse situations than a player wanting to play and a manager looking to give a breather. The feeling in the past is that the Phillies veterans may have been better off with a few more days off.
It seems that will happen.
One thing that Howard and Sandberg agree on is that they feel the Phillies will be better than the majority of preseason predictions that have them not qualifying for the playoffs for a third straight year.
“I think we are a good team,” Howard said. “I keep it simple. There are a lot of people who think we’re not (good) but I think we are.”