With only 9 days left until Pitchers and Catchers report I have decided to do a 9 part series in which each day I will take a look at one of the 9 starting positions and evaluate it. Think of this as a way to make these last 9 days go by faster. I will also list the positions in the order in which I think the 2009 Lineup should be set.
#4 1st Base
It's strange that on the day I talk about Ryan Howard he signs a 3 year $54 million dollar contract. This locks up the position until 2011. With Howard now having the money under his belt I expect him to work hard and get that batting average number up. When he won MVP he was batting above .300, this past year he just got it above .250. He is a run producer though, and that is why he will stay in the 4th spot. There is not many people waiting in line to back Howard up. Dobbs would be the first one to fill in. Howard really needs to cut down on his strikeouts in order for this team to be successful again this year. If he can get his SO down to about 150 I would be happy. We all know the home runs and RBIs will be there, but if the SO are high and the average is low it will be another frustrating year for Howard fans.
Overall Grade: A-