Ryan Howard 1B PHI 2 Months

GM Ruben Amaro Jr. emphasized that Howard will remain the team's starting first baseman despite the presence of Maikel Franco on the team's roster, the Phillies' official site reports.

Franco can play first base, but it sounds like most of his playing time will come at third. Howard has hit .225/.310/.382 with 20 home runs this season.

Ryan Howard 1B PHI 2 Months

The Phillies will try to trade Howard to an American League team this offseason, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Last month, manager Ryne Sandberg said that Howard was going to lose playing time to Darin Ruf at first, but then reversed course a few days later. The Phillies are now hoping Howard can reach notable statistical plateaus, such as 25 home runs and 100 RBI this season, to make him a bit more marketable in the offseason. The $60 million remaining on his contract will be an issue, but the Phillies will be willing to pick up a large portion of that expense if there is a team willing to take a chance on Howard. He is hitting .225/.310/.378 with 19 home runs and 81 RBI in 481 at-bats this season.

Ryan Howard 1B PHI 2 Months

Howard is not in the lineup Tuesday against the Nationals.

Howard will sit Tuesday with the left-handed Gio Gonzalez on the mound. Darin Ruf will start at first base in his place and bat fifth for the Phillies.

Ryan Howard 1B PHI 2 Months

Howard was 2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI in the Phillies' win over St. Louis on Friday night.

He has suffered something of a power outage with just 18 home runs, and is hitting a disappointing .222, but he has made his hits count while accumulating 79 RBI on the season.

Ryan Howard 1B PHI 3 Months

Howard hit a key grand slam in Thursday's 6-5 come-from-behind win over Houston. It was his 18th home run of the season.

Howard capped off a five-run eighth inning to give Philadelphia its first lead of the game. The big slugger was in a 1-for-25 slump recently, but has gone 5-for-14 with two homers and eight RBI in his last three games.

Ryan Howard 1B PHI 3 Months

Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg is no longer talking about the possibility of a platoon at first base, and he said he's not considering moving Howard out of the cleanup spot, MLB.com reports.

Coming into Tuesday's game, Howard was just 1-for-his-last-25, but apparently his job as full-time first baseman and cleanup hitter is safe. He was included in Tuesday's lineup against Astros lefty Dallas Keuchel, marking his ninth start in the team's last 10 games. Further, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said he expects Howard to be the club's first baseman in 2015.

Ryan Howard 1B PHI 3 Months

Making the start against a left-hander, Ryan Howard launched a two-run homer and drew a walk in Sunday's win over the Diamondbacks.

Howard's blast off of Vidal Nuno in the first inning got the scoring going for the Phillies, and he eventually came around to score in the sixth after drawing a walk. The first baseman has gone 3-for-8 with a couple walks over the last two days after being benched for three straight contests.

Ryan Howard 1B PHI 3 Months

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro has denied speculation that the team has considered releasing Ryan Howard.

"That is not something we are contemplating," Amaro said. "I don't know where that's coming from." While the Phillies might not be considering releasing Howard, there's no doubt that they're trying to trade him. The first baseman is now in a platoon situation and is still owed $60 million after this season. Howard has batted just .236/.306/.418 over the last three seasons.

Ryan Howard 1B PHI 3 Months

CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that the Phillies are "working hard to find a suitor for Ryan Howard."

Howard has hit just .236/.306/.418 over the last three seasons and is still owed $70 million, but Heyman says the Phillies "would be willing to eat much or most" of the contract. Heyman adds that a trade of Howard would "presumably" be to an American League team looking for a designated hitter. Two general managers told Heyman that they believe Howard could be worth around $5 million per year in such a role. Howard has a no-trade clause that allows him to block a deal to 20 teams.

Ryan Howard 1B PHI 3 Months

Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said Wednesday that first base will be a "day-to-day thing" going forward.

It's a nice way of saying Ryan Howard has lost his grip on the starting first base job. Howard and Darin Ruf will platoon based on matchups and who is swinging the hotter bat, and it appears Sandberg is resolute in his willingness to see what Ruf can do over the next two months. CSN Philly's Jim Salisbury reports the Phillies have considered the possibility of releasing Howard if he can't be moved in a trade. The Phillies owe Howard, who is hitting .224/.305/.377, $60 million guaranteed over the next three years.