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One Anonymous NL Coach Isn’t too Bullish on Ryan Howard’s Legs

Apr 16, 2013, 2:20 PM EDT

This story is a couple of days old but it's Friday and we've got cold frosty beverages on the mind. It also involves the only NFL player I've actually drank a beer with in real life, so we felt compelled to pass this fun if only minutely related anecdote along. <p> Chris Cooley was out of the NFL just a week ago. His playing days looked like they may have been over. But then Redskins tightend Fred Davis went down with an injury and Cooley's career got a shot of life to it. All that was left was to negotiate that case of beer into his new contract.

Do you worry about Ryan Howard every time you watch him run?

Apparently there’s a coach in the National League who does.

Andy Martino of the NY Daily News (via HBT) leads a basic notes writeup with concern for the long-term health of Howard and Albert Pujols.

It’s mostly about Pujols — who hasn’t looked like the same guy since leaving St. Louis and is battling knee and foot issues — but there’s a curious note at the bottom about Howard, too:

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, another marquee first baseman is hobbling. Howard blew out his achilles while grounding out to end the 2011 National League Division Series. This year, like Pujols, he is still moving gingerly.

Well, I don’t know about that. He’s never exactly been fleet of foot but he certainly looks more mobile than last season. Right?

“Every time I see Ryan Howard run, I worry that ankle is going to snap again,” said one National League coach.

Eeek.

Howard is, of course, in Year 2 of his five-year $125 million contract extension, an extension that won’t look so “market-friendly” if the Big Piece collapses on his way to first again.

Through 13 games, he’s batting .255 with a .291 OBP, .392 SLG, five RBI and one dinger.

Cue outrage about “unnamed sources” and how those individuals should “put their names on things” or whatever people say nowadays.