May 08, 2017
Ryan Howard’s baseball career may finally be over.
The 37-year-old Howard was released by the Atlanta Braves on Monday. Howard, who played in his final game with the Phillies last October, had been with the Braves’ organization for a little over a month after signing a minor-league contract with the team during the first week of the MLB season.
The #Braves have released 1B Ryan Howard from his minor-league contract.— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) May 8, 2017
After working his way through extended spring training in Florida, Howard spent the last two-plus weeks with the Braves’ Triple-A affiliate in the International League. Howard slashed .184/.238/.263 in 11 games. He had one extra-base hit – a home run – while striking out 11 times and walking twice (once intentionally) in 42 plate appearances with the Gwinnett County Braves.
Many Phillies fans reacted negatively when Howard, who went unemployed all winter, signed with the team’s division rival last month. But, as with most minor league contracts for players over age 35, there was never any guarantee that Howard would graduate to the big leagues.
After Howard went 3-for-24 (.125) with 9 strikeouts in his last seven games, the Braves apparently made the decision that they didn’t see a major league player in Howard. Just last week, Howard told reporters he still felt like he had "more in the tank."
Even if that "tank" isn't empty, Howard may not get another chance.
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