Phillies bench Ryan Howard for at least the next 3-4 games

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Phillies manager Pete Mackanin had “an adult conversation” with first baseman Ryan Howard, telling the veteran that he would be on the bench for at least the next three or four games, Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Tommy Joseph will be in the starting lineup for each of those games.

Howard, 36, went 0-for-3 on Tuesday, dropping his triple-slash line to .154/.215/.343. The Phillies owe him the remainder of his $25 million salary for the 2016 season. Certainly, the Phillies will buy him out for $10 million instead of picking up his 2017 club option for $23 million.

Joseph, meanwhile, is only 24 years old and has hit well since his mid-May promotion. In 40 plate appearances, he has a double and three home runs with five RBI. As a team, the Phillies are averaging 3.15 runs per game, which is now worse than the feeble Braves’ offense (3.16) for the worst mark in baseball. The club also acquired Jimmy Paredes and designated Emmanuel Burriss on Tuesday in an effort to liven up the offense.