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LoganBuck
06-08-2008, 05:32 PM
Is anyone else concerned with Aaron Harang? I have not been able to watch any of his recent outings, but he is getting hit, along with having to deal with the complete lack of intelligent defense behind him. What is your take?

redsrule2500
06-08-2008, 05:36 PM
He's messed up. It could be the short start and bullpen incident, but there is clearly something wrong. Nothing to do with the defense behind him at this point.

He came into that bullpen/relief game v. Padres on 2 days rest, pitched 60 pitches....then went out and pitched again on 3 days rest and got eaten alive by the Pirates....

This is where he started really getting rocked, after a phenomenal relief appearance!

I think he just needs more rest, but he does need something.

WVRedsFan
06-08-2008, 05:48 PM
Is anyone else concerned with Aaron Harang? I have not been able to watch any of his recent outings, but he is getting hit, along with having to deal with the complete lack of intelligent defense behind him. What is your take?

As I mentioned in the game thread, he's either hurting, has his mechanics screwed up, or done. Over the last 10 starts he's done the following:


ip h r er bb so hr era
52 81 37 35 13 52 10 6.05

He's approaching Belisle and Fogg territory and it just makes no sense. Something is wrong. On April 20th, he pitched a 4-hitter. Since May 17th, he's allowed 40 hits in 20 innings (4 starts). If there isn't something wrong, he's lost whatever he had.

oregonred
06-08-2008, 05:51 PM
He was throwing some BP up there for the most part and no threat to throw inside vs. righties.

Something mechanical is messed up. The offensive support may be making him press too much (although he should be smarter than worrying about that small sample size)

Harang's outings are becoming the anti-stopper turn in the rotation.

missionhockey21
06-08-2008, 05:56 PM
I think a lot of it is mental. We look at at pitcher's statistics and performances beyond wins and losses, a lot of us throw that record completely out in our evaluations but to a pitcher, that is his resume. I can tell you I sure cared a lot more if I got a W when pitching than I give any weight to that stat for MLB pitchers. Here is a guy who has not seen proper run support, lost a bunch of tough luck games and I think it's wearing on him. Today is not the first game where Harang's bat had one of the few hits and I wouldn't blame him, especially in the Miami heat, if he felt this season has been about 10x longer than it has been.

As it has been mentioned, he has been used a lot and I think an extra day or two off to rest up and a big run outpour from the bats the next time he pitches could get him on the right track. He was rolling pretty nicely today and the wheels just fell off. I think after the blast from Ramirez, it was part mental (ie, he saw no way of coming out with a win now) and definitely part physical as the heat and long season seemed to really hit him there.

cincrazy
06-08-2008, 05:57 PM
As I mentioned in the game thread, he's either hurting, has his mechanics screwed up, or done. Over the last 10 starts he's done the following:


ip h r er bb so hr era
52 81 37 35 13 52 10 6.05

He's approaching Belisle and Fogg territory and it just makes no sense. Something is wrong. On April 20th, he pitched a 4-hitter. Since May 17th, he's allowed 40 hits in 20 innings (4 starts). If there isn't something wrong, he's lost whatever he had.

Whhhhhooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, hold on there my friend. "Done"? He's not pitching well, that much is a fact. But to state that he's done is over-reacting to the extreme. He had an ERA of 3.86 coming into the game, hardly Belisle or Fogg territory. Belisle or Fogg territory is consistently sucking, Harang has just hit a rough stretch. You would too if your offense scored no runs for you and your defense was pathetic.

I think it's reached the point now to where it's affecting him mentally. Maybe it'd be better off for the Reds to skip his turn, or push him back a day or two. Aaron Harang having a few bad starts doesn't make him done, and Ryan Tucker having one good first outing doesn't make him the next Greg Maddux.

Cyclone792
06-08-2008, 06:00 PM
Harang PAP Ranks

2005: 4th
2006: 3rd
2007: 5th

Thank you Jerry Narron; may we have another? Harang's average fastball velocity has steadily decreased each of the last three or four seasons too.

It's actually kind of funny looking at those PAP lists from the last few years. Most of the names in the top 10 are now currently either injured or ineffective nowadays.

cincrazy
06-08-2008, 06:06 PM
Harang PAP Ranks

2005: 4th
2006: 3rd
2007: 5th

Thank you Jerry Narron; may we have another? Harang's average fastball velocity has steadily decreased each of the last three or four seasons too.

It's actually kind of funny looking at those PAP lists from the last few years. Most of the names in the top 10 are now currently either injured or ineffective nowadays.

Nice post. Surely not a coincidence. While I think Harang can still be a very successful pitcher pitching at his current velocity, and he can still occasionally crank it up to 93-94 when has has to, here's hoping the drop-off ends here, and doesn't continue.

WVRedsFan
06-08-2008, 06:18 PM
Whhhhhooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, hold on there my friend. "Done"? He's not pitching well, that much is a fact. But to state that he's done is over-reacting to the extreme. He had an ERA of 3.86 coming into the game, hardly Belisle or Fogg territory.

Of course I hope not and it's No. 2 (mechanics), but the last 10 starts tell a story of decline. His first four starts were good and on par with what we expect, but the last 10?


Aaron Harang having a few bad starts doesn't make him done, and Ryan Tucker having one good first outing doesn't make him the next Greg Maddux.

I hope you're right, but I don't like what I see and it's gone on for nearly a month which adds to the feeling that it's more than just a "few bad starts."

And yes. Ryan Tucker is not the next Greg Maddux. You could throw out anyone and get these kinds of performances against the Reds from time to time.

Phhhl
06-08-2008, 06:25 PM
Nobody seems to want to say it, so I will. Dusty was absolutely insane to let him go at all in that game two Sundays ago. Much less six innings. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if Harang is injured as a direct result of the entire sequence of events, that game and the next one on short rest against the Pirates.

There was nothing wrong with Harang's numbers going into the game against the Pads. Sometimes the most obvious answer is the correct one, even if it is something we don't want to face. Dusty Baker should not be trusted to manage multi-million dollar assets like the ace of a major league rotation.

redsrule2500
06-08-2008, 06:28 PM
There was nothing wrong with Harang's numbers going into the game against the Pads.

In fact, Harang was SPECTACULAR in the game against the Padres. He had his amazing stuff, and pitched well. I think he had like 8 K's???



Dusty Baker should not be trusted to manage multi-million dollar assets like the ace of a major league rotation.

Couldn't agree more! :thumbdown

jojo
06-08-2008, 06:36 PM
What is your take?

He's really good.

jojo
06-08-2008, 06:49 PM
Nice post. Surely not a coincidence. While I think Harang can still be a very successful pitcher pitching at his current velocity, and he can still occasionally crank it up to 93-94 when has has to, here's hoping the drop-off ends here, and doesn't continue.

He's averaged 90.2 mph on his fastball as a Red since 2005 according to fangraphs. PFX suggests he threw a lot of fastballs at 90-94 mph today. This season thus far he's averaging 89.8.

Where is the drop in velocity?

redsrule2500
06-08-2008, 06:51 PM
He's averaged 90.2 mph on his fastball as a Red since 2005 according to fangraphs. PFX suggests he threw a lot of fastballs at 90-94 mph today. This season thus far he's averaging 89.8.

Where is the drop in velocity?

Looks to be about .4mph

Screwball
06-08-2008, 06:51 PM
Harang's average fastball velocity has steadily decreased each of the last three or four seasons too.


I don't know about all that. I saw Harang hit 93 a couple of times today, and his fastball sat at ~90 mph - same as it always has. The problem has been his location. It doesn't matter how hard (or how soft) you throw when it's up and right down the middle.

CTA513
06-08-2008, 06:52 PM
It could just be a mechanics thing that needs to be fixed.
During the Padres series they showed split videos of Harang in 2007 and Harang in 2008 and you could see that he has been throwing the ball across his body more this season.

The Baumer
06-08-2008, 07:04 PM
I think this year is Harang's Empire Strikes Back.

mbgrayson
06-08-2008, 07:05 PM
As I said in the game thread:


His game log is available HERE (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/gamelog?statsId=6936&year=2008).

Harang before the relief appearance: 3.50 ERA, 63 Ks in 74 and 2/3 IP. (7.6 K/9)
Harang in 3 starts since the relief appearance: 9.39 ERA, 8Ks in 15.1 IP. (4.69 K/9)

His ERA has been up and down. He had a very strong start right before SD against Cleveland. MAYBE it would have kept trending up(he did indeed get bombed on May 22nd in SD) without the relief appearance. However, if he was getting worn down and becoming less effective, that is why it was even worse to use Fogg before Bray in that SD game, making it necessary to use a starter in relief.

Also, that mistake was compounded by bringing Harang back on short rest for his next start. He pitched on 2 days rest in relief, and threw 63 pitches. Then he pitched on 3 days rest, and got bombed by the Pirates. Now, it looks to me like he is worn down.

I think they should a skip a turn for Aaron, and let him regain some sharpness...hopefully.
__________________

Spring~Fields
06-08-2008, 07:12 PM
What do advanced scouts do, and are their reports a part of the pitching strategy that goes into the pitches called during a game?

Does the catcher or the pitcher call all of those pitches to oponents?

I really don't know how the dynamics work there, is there any chance that could be causing any problems for some of the pitchers including Harang?

Falls City Beer
06-08-2008, 07:23 PM
There was nothing wrong with Harang's numbers going into the game against the Pads. .

That's all relative--people tend to conflate Harang's "start" in that series versus his relief appearance. In his start he was awful (which preceded the relief stint); in his relief stint he was fantastic. He was bad in his next start on short rest, good in Philadelphia, and bad again today. He's vacillating. I'm willing to concede that the Pitt game was bad due to the short rest, but the rest? I'm sure as heck not going to blame today on his relief stint. That to me is just hunting for an easy answer and an easy scapegoat.

flyer85
06-08-2008, 07:31 PM
my take is that he hasn't been the same since that Sunday in San Diego

Falls City Beer
06-08-2008, 07:32 PM
my take is that he hasn't been the same since that Sunday in San Diego

Any way to establish that though? Interesting theory, but I don't see how it's being borne out in the numbers.

WVRedsFan
06-08-2008, 07:38 PM
That's all relative--people tend to conflate Harang's "start" in that series versus his relief appearance. In his start he was awful (which preceded the relief stint); in his relief stint he was fantastic. He was bad in his next start on short rest, good in Philadelphia, and bad again today. He's vacillating. I'm willing to concede that the Pitt game was bad due to the short rest, but the rest? I'm sure as heck not going to blame today on his relief stint. That to me is just hunting for an easy answer and an easy scapegoat.


The statistics give me pause. Before the trip to SD, his ERA was 3.00 in his six previous starts. Since, it's 15.75 in his last four starts. You all can be in denial all you want, but there is something wrong.

Falls City Beer
06-08-2008, 07:42 PM
The statistics give me pause. Before the trip to SD, his ERA was 3.00 in his six previous starts. Since, it's 15.75 in his last four starts. You all can be in denial all you want, but there is something wrong.

He's only had three starts since the relief stint. One was on short rest (Pitts--he was bad), one was on regular rest (Philly--he was solid, good even), and then today where he was bad again. If you go back four starts you get the SD start which came before the dreaded relief stint. It was a bad start too. As was two starts before that when he gave up 3 HRS. It's been on again, off again the last month. And as much of the "off" came before the relief stint as it did after.

I think way too much is being made of this Harang business. He has these stretches. He has them every season.

WVRedsFan
06-08-2008, 07:47 PM
He's only had three starts since the relief stint. One was on short rest (Pitts--he was bad), one was on regular rest (Philly--he was solid, good even), and then today where he was bad again. If you go back four starts you get the SD start which came before the dreaded relief stint. It was a bad start too. As was two starts before that when he gave up 3 HRS. It's been on again, off again the last month. And as much of the "off" came before the relief stint as it did after.

I think way too much is being made of this Harang business. He has these stretches. He has them every season.

You don't know how much I hope you're right, FCB. So much. But the Philly start wasn't very good. He pitched 6 innings, but was in hot water all night and allowed 9 hits and 3 runs while only striking out 4. Atypical of what he has done in his best games.

LoganBuck
06-08-2008, 07:53 PM
I think way too much is being made of this Harang business. He has these stretches. He has them every season.

I agree, he does this every season. The reason I started the thread was to see if anyone had picked up on anything gone wrong. I have not seen him pitch in at least a month on TV. I have heard every broadcast, but Jeff and Marty tend to lay off of Aaron Harang, and don't analyze every pitch like some of the others.

flyer85
06-08-2008, 08:08 PM
Any way to establish that though? Interesting theory, but I don't see how it's being borne out in the numbers.Causation may be another matter but there is no doubt he has been awful since that sunday in an Diego.

Buckeye33
06-08-2008, 08:17 PM
The one thing that I have noticed in the games Harang has pitched this year is that nearly all his pitches are UP. The last couple years whenhe was more succesful he was nearly always down in the zone.

A ton of his pitches today were very high.

Falls City Beer
06-08-2008, 08:26 PM
Causation may be another matter but there is no doubt he has been awful since that sunday in an Diego.

But even then--he's been awful twice and pretty good once. I'm not sure what to draw from that.

OnBaseMachine
06-08-2008, 08:28 PM
my take is that he hasn't been the same since that Sunday in San Diego

I also agree with that.

Spring~Fields
06-08-2008, 08:29 PM
From John Fays Blog:
It might be time to start getting concerned about Aaron Harang. He's gave up eight runs (seven earned) this afternoon. In his last four starts, he's gone a total of 20 2/3 innings and allowed 21 runs on 40 hits. His ERA's gone from 3.12 to 4.31 in that span.
Harang sounds concerned.

"I don't know what's wrong," he said. "I don't have a feel for anything. I'm leaving pitches over the plate. It's not the normal me."

That relief appearance in San Diego came after first start of this bad run.
"This goes back before then," Harang said. "I think the first start after that it may have been fatigue. I counted them up. I threw well over 100 more pitches than normal that week.

But this is something that started before San Diego."

Harang said he feels fine physically.

"I feel plenty strong," he said. "I don't have the touch. I'm hanging sliders. I'm missing when I try to go in. I'm missing when I try to go away. The ball ends up over the plate. I feel fine in my side (sessions). I feel fine warming up."
Harang is 2-9. He went 16-6 last year.

http://beta.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=blog07&plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3ae57bcc87-152a-4f72-96fb-cc08b1f396efPost%3a4268c790-85db-44a9-8051-fc985b661ab9&sid=sitelife.cincinnati.com

Marc D
06-08-2008, 08:40 PM
The one thing that I have noticed in the games Harang has pitched this year is that nearly all his pitches are UP. The last couple years whenhe was more succesful he was nearly always down in the zone.

A ton of his pitches today were very high.

I've seen every start since SD and thats exactly what has jumped out at me. Just looks like something mechanical where he can't get on top of his pitches at all. Today looked like a carbon copy of the Philly game from that point of view.

RedsManRick
06-08-2008, 08:45 PM
Didn't we just got done having this conversation about Arroyo? Sometimes pitchers go through funks. Be it being tired, a lapse in mechanics, or just bad luck, it will end in one of two ways: he'll come out of it or he'll be injured. Hopefully it's the former and the struggles don't last too much longer.

Falls City Beer
06-08-2008, 08:57 PM
Didn't we just got done having this conversation about Arroyo? Sometimes pitchers go through funks. Be it being tired, a lapse in mechanics, or just bad luck, it will end in one of two ways: he'll come out of it or he'll be injured. Hopefully it's the former and the struggles don't last too much longer.

I don't see a downward trend with Harang. I do with Arroyo.

cincrazy
06-08-2008, 09:43 PM
He's averaged 90.2 mph on his fastball as a Red since 2005 according to fangraphs. PFX suggests he threw a lot of fastballs at 90-94 mph today. This season thus far he's averaging 89.8.

Where is the drop in velocity?

I was going off of what somebody else said my friend, I haven't looked into it whatsoever

Reds1
06-08-2008, 09:59 PM
At this point I'm concerned, but not worried. Well, ok a little bit. Seems he hasn't been right since the extra innings. He may have just pitched 1 too many innings, but he was striking everyone out. Just not locating well right now. He's a hard worker. He should get it straigtened out.

GAC
06-08-2008, 10:08 PM
Whhhhhooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, hold on there my friend. "Done"? He's not pitching well, that much is a fact. But to state that he's done is over-reacting to the extreme. He had an ERA of 3.86 coming into the game, hardly Belisle or Fogg territory. Belisle or Fogg territory is consistently sucking, Harang has just hit a rough stretch. You would too if your offense scored no runs for you and your defense was pathetic.

I think it's reached the point now to where it's affecting him mentally. Maybe it'd be better off for the Reds to skip his turn, or push him back a day or two. Aaron Harang having a few bad starts doesn't make him done, and Ryan Tucker having one good first outing doesn't make him the next Greg Maddux.

Exactly. Good post.

I'm waiting to hear the Narron abused him reasoning. ;)

There may be some fatigue there; but I'd say it's more mechanical. It has to be frustrating not getting any run support from this team (2nd worst in the NL, and under 3 runs/game). It can tend to wear on you, even though you try to not let it, and affect your game.

RedFanAlways1966
06-08-2008, 10:14 PM
Worst months for the REDS Aaron Harang...

(1) Sept. 2004
>> 6 GS, 7.81 ERA, 11 HR in 27.2 IP.

(2) June 2005
>> 5 GS, 6.67 ERA, REDS lose all 5 games.

(3) May 2004
>> 6 GS, 6.54 ERA, 1.83 WHIP.

He has had "lulls" before. It has been awhile since he has had one. Perhaps we (REDS fans) have gotten spoiled. Perhaps we overrate him. Is Harang in the same class as a Webb, a Pedro, even a Zambrano?

I am not sure, but I hope the "lull" ends next time he starts.

MikeS21
06-08-2008, 10:22 PM
I think WAY too much is being made of the extra inning stint. As others have pointed out, Harang's problems began BEFORE the sixty pitches in relief. And as I recall, Harang volunteered to pitch, telling Dusty that he was going to throw on the side anyway. I don't think Harand has looked especially sharp all year. Oh, he's had a game or two, but it appears he has had less command and control. April 25th against the Brewers, he looked very good, but he has been "average" since then. And his prior start against the Cubs on April 15th, he was flat out bad.

Since then, he has been very hittable. His BB's are up and K's are down.

Spring~Fields
06-08-2008, 10:27 PM
Harang came into Sunday's game as one of baseball's hard-luck stories at 2-8. In his losses, the Reds had given him an average of only two runs a game of support.

Reds manager Dusty Baker believed the lack of run support finally got to Harang in a big way on Sunday.

"I'm sure his confidence is down a little bit, just because of the fact it seems when he pitches we don't score many runs," Baker said. "You have to pitch perfectly so they don't score any more -- and it snowballs."

I think that Baker is right that the lack of run support has been causing pitchers to press to be perfect.

kaldaniels
06-08-2008, 10:51 PM
I'm not as observant as some...but Harang's action after he K'd today (throwing the bat into the bat rack) seemed out of place for him...anyone else notice this.

I don't blame him for doing that but it did seem out of character. Just an observation I made today.

Kc61
06-08-2008, 11:20 PM
I think that Baker is right that the lack of run support has been causing pitchers to press to be perfect.

I think Dusty is right on. Every inning is a "high leverage" inning for Harang right now and, after awhile, that no doubt takes its toll.

Not only is Harang pressing, but the offense presses when he pitches. In the last few outings, Harang hasn't exactly gone against all stars. Dumatrait beat him. Now today this AA guy beats him. Any guy who pitches against Harang is an all star.

Maybe a couple of relief outings for Harang, or skipping a turn would work. Reds need to change something about this pattern.

mbgrayson
06-09-2008, 12:26 AM
I think WAY too much is being made of the extra inning stint. As others have pointed out, Harang's problems began BEFORE the sixty pitches in relief. And as I recall, Harang volunteered to pitch, telling Dusty that he was going to throw on the side anyway....

His one game 2 days before his relief outing he gave up five runs in 5 and a third, but still he struck out 7. In that game, Harang threw four scoreless innings, then most of the runs scored on Gonzalez and Greene homers.

The start before that he threw 7 innings, and gave up only one run against the Indians in GABP.

The numbers are clear enough to at least raise a concern:

Harang in 10 starts before the relief appearance: 3.50 ERA, 63 Ks in 74 and 2/3 IP. (7.6 K/9)
Harang in 3 starts since the relief appearance: 9.39 ERA, 8Ks in 15.1 IP. (4.69 K/9)

Where did you see that he volunteered? I haven't seen that before...Dusty using Fogg before Bray forced him to use a starter. All the other relievers had already pitched. Bray couldn't go more than an inning or two. There really wasn't much choice after Dusty did that. Only Harang, Cueto, and Volquez were left, and Volquez came in after Harang. Now I did see that Volquez volunteered.

Remember that the relief outing was on a 'get away' day, last game in San Diego. I seriously doubt that Harang would be waiting to throw on the side until after the game when they were leaving town that day. My guess is that he would have thrown on the side during the first nine innings of the game, being that they typically load up and go quickly after the game. Near the end of the regular game, remember that the Reds were leading, until the blown saves. There would have been no reason for Aaron to wait to do his side work.

I still think the mistake was bringing Harang back on three days rest after the relief appearance. That was extraordinary, and no amount of denial will convince me that this extra work is unrelated to his current struggles.

Hap
06-09-2008, 01:43 AM
His pitches, especially the four-seamer, are not getting the sharp movement at the end like they are supposed to, especially the ones near the corners of the plate.

Razor Shines
06-09-2008, 02:08 AM
He's only had three starts since the relief stint. One was on short rest (Pitts--he was bad), one was on regular rest (Philly--he was solid, good even), and then today where he was bad again. If you go back four starts you get the SD start which came before the dreaded relief stint. It was a bad start too. As was two starts before that when he gave up 3 HRS. It's been on again, off again the last month. And as much of the "off" came before the relief stint as it did after.

I think way too much is being made of this Harang business. He has these stretches. He has them every season.

Surprisingly, I'm with FCB on this one and so is Harang.

He'll rebound from this. It may even last another start, but my money is on a good start next time out. Skipping a start might help, but I don't see it happening. I also don't see it as something that is necessary. Aaron seems like a pretty smart guy and after today I think he'll really focus on his mechanics and fix the problem.

WVRedsFan
06-09-2008, 02:50 AM
Surprisingly, I'm with FCB on this one and so is Harang.

He'll rebound from this. It may even last another start, but my money is on a good start next time out. Skipping a start might help, but I don't see it happening. I also don't see it as something that is necessary. Aaron seems like a pretty smart guy and after today I think he'll really focus on his mechanics and fix the problem.

I think the thing that bothers me most is the fact that he says he doesn't know what the problem is and that he doesn't have "the touch." If you've ever played sports, you know what he means. Sometimes you cannot put your finger on what is going wrong and you're confused. This is when the pitching coach and manager step in and review films and whatever else they do, but we don't see an indication from anyone that is going to happen. Harang is confused, doesn't have a clue and the manager says it's ll in his mind and the pitching coach is silent.

I know that they don't tell us everything that they do, but it just seems like they are going to give him a start in 5 days and see what happens. I hope this isn't the case, but he needs help. It will go a long way if we see improvement, but at this point I have to wonder what's going on with the Reds' "brain trust" right now.

Razor Shines
06-09-2008, 03:16 AM
I think the thing that bothers me most is the fact that he says he doesn't know what the problem is and that he doesn't have "the touch." If you've ever played sports, you know what he means. Sometimes you cannot put your finger on what is going wrong and you're confused. This is when the pitching coach and manager step in and review films and whatever else they do, but we don't see an indication from anyone that is going to happen. Harang is confused, doesn't have a clue and the manager says it's ll in his mind and the pitching coach is silent.



Sure, I know what he means. And one thing that I can say from my experience in playing sports is that "touch" is something that just goes away for a period of time every once in a great while. Whether it's pitching, hitting, shooting a basketball or even hitting a golf ball. It just goes and sometimes you don't ever figure out why and other times there is a mechanical error that you can find and fix. I do know that it always comes back (to a point obviously and Harang's not old enough to be passed that point) and occassionally it will come back and you won't know what you're doing differently or how it came back. Anyway that's my been my experience with the whole "touch" thing in sports.

bucksfan2
06-09-2008, 09:38 AM
I think the thing that bothers me most is the fact that he says he doesn't know what the problem is and that he doesn't have "the touch." If you've ever played sports, you know what he means. Sometimes you cannot put your finger on what is going wrong and you're confused. This is when the pitching coach and manager step in and review films and whatever else they do, but we don't see an indication from anyone that is going to happen. Harang is confused, doesn't have a clue and the manager says it's ll in his mind and the pitching coach is silent.

I know that they don't tell us everything that they do, but it just seems like they are going to give him a start in 5 days and see what happens. I hope this isn't the case, but he needs help. It will go a long way if we see improvement, but at this point I have to wonder what's going on with the Reds' "brain trust" right now.

"Touch" is a very difficult thing to correct. It comes and goes from time to time. As a golfer there really isn't anything mechanical behind to "touch" rather just a feeling when you grip the club or putter. With Harang it could be he doesn't feel comfortable gripping the ball or he doesn't feel comfortable with his wrist action at this release point. You are struggling to perfect your motion that you end up trying multiple different things that screw you pitching up more.

I am not worried one bit about Harang. IMO the relief appearance is overblown. He is just struggling right now and he has done that through out his big league career. I am sure that the lack of run support forces Harang to try and perfect his pitching even more which isn't a good thing. The list is long and distinguished of pitchers who have had a rough patch from time to time. No biggy.

Cyclone792
06-09-2008, 09:54 AM
He's averaged 90.2 mph on his fastball as a Red since 2005 according to fangraphs. PFX suggests he threw a lot of fastballs at 90-94 mph today. This season thus far he's averaging 89.8.

Where is the drop in velocity?


I don't know about all that. I saw Harang hit 93 a couple of times today, and his fastball sat at ~90 mph - same as it always has. The problem has been his location. It doesn't matter how hard (or how soft) you throw when it's up and right down the middle.

2005: 90.5 mph
2006: 90.4 mph
2007: 90.1 mph
2008: 89.8 mph

I'd like to see him get back to his 2005-06 levels rather than hanging around where he is this year.

Bronson Arroyo, FWIW, has seen similar trends:

2005: 89.5 mph
2006: 89.0 mph
2007: 88.4 mph
2008: 88.1 mph

RedsManRick
06-09-2008, 10:06 AM
2005: 90.5 mph
2006: 90.4 mph
2007: 90.1 mph
2008: 89.8 mph

I'd like to see him get back to his 2005-06 levels rather than hanging around where he is this year.

Bronson Arroyo, FWIW, has seen similar trends:

2005: 89.5 mph
2006: 89.0 mph
2007: 88.4 mph
2008: 88.1 mph

That sort of drop in fastball speed is not unusual. Josh Kalk posted a study on THT a few weeks ago on that very thing.

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/preliminary-aging-curve-for-fastball-speed/

It's just a preliminary study, but his primary observation is:

It appears that until pitchers reach 28 or 29, they increase the speed on their fastball by about 1.5 mph. After 29, there is a rather sharp decline in fastball speed.

During the next five years, pitchers lose just over four mph.

As Harang noted, and as we've seen with Arroyo, what causes them to get beat around is leaving pitches over the heart of the heart of the plate. Now, maybe a MPH or two on the fastball leaves them less margin for error, and I'm certainly no professional hitter, but I don't think an 89 mph fastball is notably different than 91 mph one. Perhaps they're related issues, as in a drop in velocity is evidence of being fatigued, but I think it's pretty clear that location is the primary problem, not velocity.

jojo
06-09-2008, 10:23 AM
2005: 90.5 mph
2006: 90.4 mph
2007: 90.1 mph
2008: 89.8 mph

I'd like to see him get back to his 2005-06 levels rather than hanging around where he is this year.

You're looking at roughly .5 mph and it's not even clear if the difference is statistically significant.

Cyclone792
06-09-2008, 10:44 AM
That sort of drop in fastball speed is not unusual. Josh Kalk posted a study on THT a few weeks ago on that very thing.

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/preliminary-aging-curve-for-fastball-speed/

It's just a preliminary study, but his primary observation is:


As Harang noted, and as we've seen with Arroyo, what causes them to get beat around is leaving pitches over the heart of the heart of the plate. Now, maybe a MPH or two on the fastball leaves them less margin for error, and I'm certainly no professional hitter, but I don't think an 89 mph fastball is notably different than 91 mph one. Perhaps they're related issues, as in a drop in velocity is evidence of being fatigued, but I think it's pretty clear that location is the primary problem, not velocity.


You're looking at roughly .5 mph and it's not even clear if the difference is statistically significant.

Harang's slider has had an even bigger drop in velocity.

My thinking is that a couple years of heavy workload is affecting Harang and Arroyo in both velocity and command, and that combination, even if minimal on one or both ends, is having a negative effect on both pitchers. There is less margin for error in command when there's also been a slight drop in velocity.

Anyhow, I said this two years ago when Narron was running both pitchers in the ground, and I'll say it again. If these guys go down, this team is sunk for the foreseeable future. There's a contention window of 2009 and beyond that people are shooting for, but if Harang and/or Arroyo go down then Walter Sobchak will be shattering that window with a crowbar.

REDREAD
06-09-2008, 10:44 AM
Dusty Baker should not be trusted to manage multi-million dollar assets like the ace of a major league rotation.

There's valid criticisms of that 18 inning game.

However, I still don't blame Dusty for trying to win in the 11th. He had a two run lead. Due up was a switch hitter, a PH, and two Righties, then some lefties. Dusty went by the book and brought in RH Fogg, and then brought in Bray to try to get the lefties. LaRussa and just about every other manager would've done the same thing.. It was unfortunate that the game got tied and went so long. I think a better criticism of that extra inning game is what the Reds did afterwards. Rather than starting everyone on short rest, they should've just ran Fogg out for a start.. Even though that's basically forfeiting a game, it would've given Arroyo, Harang, and Volquez an extra day of rest to recover. (Arroyo didn't pitch in that game, but he did pitch on short rest as a result).

But if you remove that freaky 18 inning game, I think Dusty has done an outstanding job managing the pitching staff. He's protected the youngsters, and done a good job managing the bullpen.

edabbs44
06-09-2008, 11:44 AM
I think too many people try and tie ineffectiveness or injury definitively to one start/appearance or trend.

Arroyo had a monster pitch count in SD(?) I believe last year. Then he got destroyed for like a month after that. Narron was the devil and ruined him. Then he came back and pitched well. Narron was forgiven. Then Arroyo started off this season in putrid fashion. Narron again was dragged over the coals. Then he started pitching well. Then he didn't. Now it is back to Narron.

My take? This is Bronson Arroyo. He isn't a stud. He is a middle of the road pitcher. He'll pitch well. He'll pitch poorly.

Now it's Harang's turn. He's had a rough stretch, no doubt. But maybe that's all it is. Volquez seems to have rebounded nicely from the marathon game. I expect Harang to do the same.

Let's not make a mountain out of a molehill until it is really time to start building.

jojo
06-09-2008, 12:11 PM
I think too many people try and tie ineffectiveness or injury definitively to one start/appearance or trend.

Arroyo had a monster pitch count in SD(?) I believe last year. Then he got destroyed for like a month after that. Narron was the devil and ruined him. Then he came back and pitched well. Narron was forgiven. Then Arroyo started off this season in putrid fashion. Narron again was dragged over the coals. Then he started pitching well. Then he didn't. Now it is back to Narron.

My take? This is Bronson Arroyo. He isn't a stud. He is a middle of the road pitcher. He'll pitch well. He'll pitch poorly.

Now it's Harang's turn. He's had a rough stretch, no doubt. But maybe that's all it is. Volquez seems to have rebounded nicely from the marathon game. I expect Harang to do the same.

Let's not make a mountain out of a molehill until it is really time to start building.

I'd take it a step further. Mechanics are complicated and slight variations can have significant impact on effectiveness but also be terribly difficult to pick up. Subtle variations in mechanics likely are pretty common and most often can be worked through in pitchers like Arroyo and Harang (i.e. established major league caliber starters).

If there isn't a dramatic drop in velocity or apparent change in a pitcher's stuff (movement etc), then it's probably not appropriate to default to doomsday or single out a moment in time as a silver bullet.

edabbs44
06-09-2008, 12:11 PM
I'd take it a step further. Mechanics are complicated and slight variations can have significant impact on effectiveness but also be terribly difficult to pick up. Subtle variations in mechanics likely are pretty common and most often can be worked through in pitchers like Arroyo and Harang (i.e. established major league caliber starters).

If there isn't a dramatic drop in velocity or apparent change in a pitcher's stuff (movement etc), then it's probably not appropriate to default to doomsday or single out a moment in time as a silver bullet.

Agreed.

RedsManRick
06-09-2008, 12:38 PM
Does anybody have scouting evidence (bio-mechanical analysis) suggesting that Harang is struggling with his delivery.

It's quite possible that that he's a bit fatigued, losing his mechanics just slightly, and it's showing up in the form of hung sliders, inconsistent fastball location/movement, etc.

I think it's also important to understand what I'd call the Belisle affect. A pitcher can throw 90 great pitches. But if he throws 10 poor ones and they get hit, he's going to have a rough outing. We tend to think of pitchers in a very simple manner of "how he's pitching?" I guess another way to think of it is instead of a guy just pitching at 80% of his normal effectiveness across the board, think of him as throwing 20% of his pitches less effectively. Harang wasn't walking people yesterday. He still struck out a handful. But he hung sliders like I've never seen from him.

Jpup
06-09-2008, 12:42 PM
It's time for Dick Pole to be shown the door. Leo Mazzone is looking for a job too.

jojo
06-09-2008, 01:10 PM
Pitching coaches are pretty much of limited utility at the level of Harang when it comes to mechanics IMHO.

flyer85
06-09-2008, 01:21 PM
Does anybody have scouting evidence (bio-mechanical analysis) suggesting that Harang is struggling with his delivery.

It's quite possible that that he's a bit fatigued, losing his mechanics just slightly, and it's showing up in the form of hung sliders, inconsistent fastball location/movement, etc.

I think it's also important to understand what I'd call the Belisle affect. A pitcher can throw 90 great pitches. But if he throws 10 poor ones and they get hit, he's going to have a rough outing. We tend to think of pitchers in a very simple manner of "how he's pitching?" I guess another way to think of it is instead of a guy just pitching at 80% of his normal effectiveness across the board, think of him as throwing 20% of his pitches less effectively. Harang wasn't walking people yesterday. He still struck out a handful. But he hung sliders like I've never seen from him.same issue in his last three starts ... inability to keep the slider down and locate his fastball.

RedlegJake
06-09-2008, 01:37 PM
same issue in his last three starts ... inability to keep the slider down and locate his fastball.

Yep. Slider seems to be up and hanging, and fastball isn't consistently on the corners but coming into the center of the zone. What Aaron calls touch I call command. Its something I think he'll work out of and as others have said he goes through this in some degree for awhile every year.

flyer85
06-09-2008, 01:41 PM
Yep. Slider seems to be up and hanging, and fastball isn't consistently on the corners but coming into the center of the zone. What Aaron calls touch I call command. Aaron admitted being fatigued during the Pittsburgh start. After the relief appearance pitching him on short rest was beyond stupid. I am guessing that he messed up his mechanics in the Pittsburgh game and is struggling to get them right.

cincrazy
06-13-2008, 10:41 PM
Looks like Harang is all right after all :)

Unassisted
06-13-2008, 10:45 PM
Looks like Harang is all right after all :)Yep... let's hope his struggles were just a brief case of dead arm, brought on by the relief stint.

oregonred
06-13-2008, 10:48 PM
What a big sigh of relief that the Big Hoss looked like his old self again tonight.

Beautifully pitched game and another one that gives us hope as the Reds continue to develop further into a solid pitching staff. Funny how GABP starts to look like less of a hitter's paradise when the Reds finally have pieced together a passable 4/5ths of a rotation.

Harang 7IP of 1 ER, 0BB and 7K Ball

Burton 1-2-3 in the 8th and Coco closes out the 3-1 win in the 9th... Good start to the weekend :)

Falls City Beer
06-13-2008, 10:49 PM
Yep... let's hope his struggles were just a brief case of dead arm, brought on by the relief stint.

Or just his typical run of poor starts that's occurred every season since he's been in the majors.

edabbs44
06-13-2008, 11:08 PM
All is well. Narron didn't ruin Harang.

oregonred
06-13-2008, 11:09 PM
All is well. Narron didn't ruin Harang.

I'd rather have Jose Guillen ;)

HokieRed
06-13-2008, 11:20 PM
I wouldn't rather have Jose Guillen, but I would like to still have Jose Guillen, who's got 11/50/.806 right now, which would be a lot higher in GABP.

RedFanAlways1966
06-13-2008, 11:42 PM
And the REDS offense when Harang throws?
* Last 3 games: 12 hits (4.0/G) ; 6 runs (2/G).
* Last 5 games: 23 hits (4.6/G) ; 10 runs (2/G).

In his last 5 starts the REDS have scored this many runs: 2, 2, 2, 2, 2. I am sure Aaron appreciates the 2 runs, but it is tough to win in the 2000's with only 2 runs in a game.

In his last 5 starts the REDS have this many hits in the game: 3, 5, 4, 5, 6. Ouch. Definition of NO SUPPORT.

Aaron since the infamous relief outing: bad start, quality start, bad start, quality start. Not exactly earth shattering in the realm of suckiness or his career might be over. It happens. It has happened to many pitchers in Cooperstown (not sayin' Aaron is H-of-F stuff). Good to see him shut down the BOSOX. He has 10 QS in 15 GS. Very respectable. Hope the next start (Dodgers) breaks the back-n-forth thing of bad-good-bad-good.

Mario-Rijo
06-13-2008, 11:51 PM
Well he got away with alot of stuff up in the zone tonight, had the Sox knew him well he might not have. He just needs to stay down and agressive with his stuff and come inside a tad more often (he's living outside right now).

OnBaseMachine
06-23-2008, 06:35 PM
What is wrong with Aaron Harang? He isn't the starter he used to be.
-- Cory M., Piqua, Ohio

It looks weird to see the Reds' workhorse the owner of a 3-10 record and 4.33 ERA, especially since he was a 16-game winner the past two seasons. He's also tied with Roy Oswalt for the National League lead with 119 hits allowed.

As for what's wrong, I think a lot of it goes back to May 25. That was the day of the 18-inning loss at San Diego where Harang worked four innings and threw 63 pitches in emergency relief. Overall that week, he pitched three times in eight days and never really got a chance to recover -- not just his arms but his legs, too.

One longtime scout told me Harang's mechanics haven't been the same after that relief outing. In his last five starts since, he is 1-4 with a 7.20 ERA. That Padres game could have more lasting effect on the Reds than any game this season.

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080623&content_id=2990295&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

WVRedsFan
06-23-2008, 06:46 PM
One longtime scout told me Harang's mechanics haven't been the same after that relief outing.[/b] In his last five starts since, he is 1-4 with a 7.20 ERA. That Padres game could have more lasting effect on the Reds than any game this season.

So much for the argument that there is nothing wrong. If the scouts see it, why can't Sleepy Pole?

RANDY IN INDY
06-23-2008, 07:10 PM
Watching his mechanics, I think it's his legs. No drive when he has been struggling. All arm, and a recipe for an arm injury if it continues. Just my two cents.