Howard hasn't been the great player he was becoming in the first five years of his career
There comes a time when you have to stop making excuses. The many years now that Ryan Howard has been with the Phillies has initially shown Howard to be on his way to superstar status, he rose up quicker than any other player to hit 100 HR in a fast amount of time.
That was then, and this is now.
Howard kept a family lawsuit secret last year from the public for as long as he could last year. This situation isn't an explanation that is good enough to keep making excuses though. Howard is a big man on the field, and off the field. He commands one of the highest salaries in baseball, yet his output doesn't match what he is paid.
Somehow, Howard has lost his path to baseball's Oz, his ticket to the Hall of Fame is starting to get a bit on the ragged side and very close to disappearing all together.
The Phillies have been very patient with Howard over the years. He has had his problems with injury but now in this Spring when every problem that Howard could have had has been resolved. We see a player who hasn't appeared to get back on track.
Howard's throws to second base are still hesitant and terrible most of the time. His lack of confidence in himself to throw a ball to second base shines through nearly every time he has to do it. His swing, once feared, is again not in form like it used to be. He still can't hit breaking pitches.
Howard finished Spring Training 2015 with a .178 BA which is even less that last year's and he just seems to have lost his skills except for the long ball which is a lot less than it used to be. Howard finished up last year with a paltry .223 BA on the season. His free fall from superstar to below average has been epic and unbelievable.