By Peter Gleason

The Phillies’ underperforming, massively overpaid 36-year-old Ryan Howard may stay in Philly through October!

GM Matt Klentak reiterated his previous stance that there are no plans to release Ryan Howard. He expects Howard, even in a diminished role, to remain with the club throughout the season. This is the final guaranteed season of Howard’s contract.

“It’s certainly something we can live with,” Klentak said. “I’m not viewing it as a distraction at all. I think the biggest reason for that is the way that Ryan has handled it and the way that Pete (Mackanin) has handled it. And really, the way the team around them is handling it. If it’s not distracting to that group of people, it really shouldn’t be a distraction to anybody. Ryan has handled it like a true professional. Pete’s communication with Ryan has been outstanding. I don’t view it as a distraction at all.”

So you foresee Howard being here the remainder of the season?

“I don’t see why not,” Klentak said. “I mean, Pete makes out the lineup. Tommy (Joseph) is playing almost every day. As long as this current situation is working for everybody, I don’t see why we’d need to make a move.

“Ryan has 10 home runs; he’s second on our club in home runs. I know that opposing managers absolutely know when Ryan Howard is in the on-deck circle and on the bench with a chance to come up. They have to respect the power and the impact that comes with that. Right now, for us, we think there’s value to that on our 25-man roster.

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