Howard will be out for at least 5 to six months and could miss most or all of the 2012 season if his injury lingers like many Achilles injuries do. The Phillies will need to change their approach to the offseason. The Phillies will now need to find someone who can fill in for the year at first base.
Ryan Howard's power will certainly be missed by the Philadelphia Phillies next season. There is one player on the free-agent market that can replace his power.
Carlos Pena signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Cubs before the 2011 season and could sign a one-year deal with the Phillies for 2012. If the Phillies do sign Pena, they will need to deal with his low batting average.
Lyle Overbay struggled during the 2011 season, but he has 20 home run power and is a career .270 hitter. He will likely be willing to sign a one-year deal to play for a World Series contender.
While Overbay will not be able to replace everything that Howard brings to the Phillies lineup, he is one of the best options available on the free-agent market.
Before the season, teams wondered if Derrek Lee's MLB career was going to be ending soon. Lee managed to put off those notions with his performance.
The Phillies would welcome Lee's veteran presence to their roster. He may no longer be an All-Star, but he could hit at least 20 home runs at Citizens Bank Park.
During the 2011 season, John Mayberry Jr. played 18 games at first base. While this is not his natural position, he will have enough time to improve his defense their if the Phillies choose him.
This may be the best way for the Phillies to get Mayberry's bat into the lineup next year. The external options may be better choices, but Mayberry is certainly an option.
At the moment, it seems like Cody Overbeck would have a slight edge over Matt Rizzotti if the Phillies are going to have one of their prospects play first base in 2012.
Overbeck has shown that he can handle Triple-A, while Rizzotti struggled at that level in 2010 and spent all of 2011 at Double-A. The Phillies can expect some power out of Overbeck if he plays in the majors next year.
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