Ryan Howard 1B PHI 4 Months

Howard is out of the lineup Saturday against the Marlins.

With lefty Brad Hand on the hill for Miami, Howard will head to the bench in favor of Maikel Franco at first base. While Franco may steal occasional starts over the remainder of the season, he'll likely play primarily at third. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has already said he expects Howard to be the club's regular first baseman again in 2015.

Ryan Howard 1B PHI 4 Months

Howard is out of the lineup Sunday against the Nationals, Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.

Howard has made nine starts in a row at first base for the Phillies, but will take a seat in favor of Darin Ruf on Sunday. With lefty Gio Gonzalez on the hill for the Nationals, manager Ryne Sandberg likely wanted to get as many right-handed bats in his lineup as possible. Howard has collected 11 hits in his past 10 games, but is batting just .226/.310/.385 on the season.

Ryan Howard 1B PHI 4 Months

Howard was 2-for-5 with a two-run home run in the Phillies' win over Washington on Friday night.

He has struggled this year, hitting just .225, but he now has 21 long ones to go with an impressive 89 RBI. The Phillies have been emphatic in saying he will remain their regular first baseman down the stretch, despite the recent arrival of top prospect Mikael Franco, and production like this should reinforce that decision. Franco played third base in this one and collected one hit in five trips.

Ryan Howard 1B PHI 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 5 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 5 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 5 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.