Now that the Phillies have officially named Ryne Sandberg their manager for next season and beyond he’s starting to talk about what he has planned and one of those things is getting first baseman Ryan Howard in better shape.
Howard has always been huge and his conditioning has declined while struggling through injuries the past two seasons, leading Sandberg to tell Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com:
It all starts right now with the games in Florida along with his workout program the whole winter. Him being healthy will allow him to get into baseball shape. I look for him to come back and be a big guy right in the middle of the lineup. I know I’ll have a conversation with him about continuing to have a good work ethic and get the training he needs this winter.
Beyond those comments on Howard’s conditioning, Sandberg also suggested that the former MVP should take more advantage of studying video of opposing pitchers because “from what I’ve gathered, I think he can be better prepared to face somebody to start a baseball game.”