Rockies sign Ryan Howard to a minor league deal

Prior to the Rockies taking on the Miami Marlins in the second game of a three-game series in south Florida, Colorado announced that it had signed former Philadelphia Phillies All-Star Ryan Howard to a minor league contract. He’ll report to Triple-A Albuquerque with the hopes of playing in the majors once again this year. Stairs had just 17 regular season at-bats with the 2008 Phillies, but when the postseason got underway, well, the rest was history.

Howard hasn’t played a major league game since last season with Philadelphia but spent a portion of this season in the Braves minor league system.

Howard, 37, had signed a minor-league deal with the Atlanta Braves earlier this season and hit.184 (7 for 38) in 11 games with the team’s triple-A affiliate in Gwinnett before being released May 8.

The Rockies now play 33-year-old Mark Reynolds at first base, but have little depth behind him.

The St. Louis native was named the 2006 National League Rookie of the Year after compiling a.288 batting average with 22 home runs and 63 RBI in 88 games.

The Rockies can’t expect much out of Howard since he’s pushing 40, but he is a worthwhile flier who could pay dividends come playoff time as a pinch hitter if he proves capable of harnessing bits and pieces of his prime form.