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traderumor
06-05-2009, 10:43 AM
I am really concerned about Aaron Harang. The last two starts he has barely thrown his slider, which is one of his keys to success. Red flag that he is not healthy? Also, I have not seen anyone dismiss Brantley's analysis of his mechanics as being off base, so I assume he was onto something. Did he come up with himself? Will he share his findings with Pole, or does this violate protocol? Is this known but there is nothing Aaron can do about it?

Just a lot of questions after watching his last two outings, with decreased velocity, avoiding the slider, command issues, and meatball fastballs that were supposed to be down to Fielder and Pujols twice. And, with all due respect to Brantley, if he is providing this analysis over the airwaves, certainly the scouts looking to deal with the Reds see these issues as well, making his value on the market decrease should we need him as a trading chip to improve the club.

Or, is he just in a funk, an adjustment will click, and he'll be back to low 90s fastball, slider effective pitching that we are accustomed to?

fearofpopvol1
06-05-2009, 10:52 AM
I can't imagine him throwing over 200 pitches in Houston with a rain delay was a bright idea (particularly after the San Diego debacle last year).

cincrazy
06-05-2009, 11:01 AM
I am really concerned about Aaron Harang. The last two starts he has barely thrown his slider, which is one of his keys to success. Red flag that he is not healthy? Also, I have not seen anyone dismiss Brantley's analysis of his mechanics as being off base, so I assume he was onto something. Did he come up with himself? Will he share his findings with Pole, or does this violate protocol? Is this known but there is nothing Aaron can do about it?

Just a lot of questions after watching his last two outings, with decreased velocity, avoiding the slider, command issues, and meatball fastballs that were supposed to be down to Fielder and Pujols twice. And, with all due respect to Brantley, if he is providing this analysis over the airwaves, certainly the scouts looking to deal with the Reds see these issues as well, making his value on the market decrease should we need him as a trading chip to improve the club.

Or, is he just in a funk, an adjustment will click, and he'll be back to low 90s fastball, slider effective pitching that we are accustomed to?

I thought he looked fine last night... maybe not as sharp as usual, but lets face it, if you take out the two at bats to Pujols, he threw a CG shutout. So you can't complain about that performance. His stuff isn't as sharp as it used to be, whether that's permanent or not I don't know. But over the course of the season, I'm not worried about him. If we score any amount of runs last night, we win the game.

traderumor
06-05-2009, 11:08 AM
I thought he looked fine last night... maybe not as sharp as usual, but lets face it, if you take out the two at bats to Pujols, he threw a CG shutout. So you can't complain about that performance. His stuff isn't as sharp as it used to be, whether that's permanent or not I don't know. But over the course of the season, I'm not worried about him. If we score any amount of runs last night, we win the game.I thought he pitched very similar to the way he did when he got rocked in Milwaukee, but got several great glove plays in the infield and 4 DPs. I know that is part of the game, but Aaron has never been a highly defense dependent pitcher historically.

His high 80s fastball was up most of the night, he threw very few of his out pitch, the slider, and he missed Hanigan's target more than he hit it. In other words, he fit the "its better to be be lucky than good" cliche perfectly last night.

What I am conjecturing is that Aaron is feeling pain and has had to adjust his mechanics and pitching style to accomodate the pain. I hope my conjecture is dead wrong. I will not be surprised if he "suddenly" misses a start due to "some inflammation and soreness."

jojo
06-05-2009, 11:13 AM
Here's a snapshot of Harang's 2009 to date:
K/9= 7.63;
BB/9= 2.00;
FIP: 4.07;

So far he's been almost exactly the guy that he was projected to be (http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1827123&highlight=2009+reds+project#post1827123).

Here's an average NL starter so far:
K/9= 6.8;
BB/9= 3.41;
FIP= 4.31;

All of that said, as suggested, he has thrown roughly half as many sliders during the last two starts as he normally would.

Last night he was having obvious command issues. I confess that I can't remember his Milwaukee outing concerning command. But his slider didn't seem to be doing much last night which might explain why he relied on his fastball.

His velocity over the last two outings has been fine regarding his fastball (90-92 mph).

Maybe he's having a mechanical snafu (as per Brantley's comments)? I don't think there is reason to fear an undisclosed injury.

Here's a view thru the pitch f/x data (a negative vertical value suggests sink; a positive horiz means away from like-handed hitter):



Horiz. Vert. %throw %strike
2008 0.42 3.94 24 71
20-May 3.7 2.27 24 76
25-May 3.11 2.95 43 66
30-May 2.12 0 13 55
4-Jun 0 0.69 13 73

ML ave 2.3 2.5


Pitch f/x would suggest that movement on his slider has been dramatically different over his last two starts.

RANDY IN INDY
06-05-2009, 11:14 AM
I don't dismiss Brantley's comments. He really is struggling with staying in his motion, and that is not unusual for someone as tall as Aaron. Tall guys usually always struggle with their mechanics more than the 6' to 6' 3" guys. More to get in sync and more to get out of sync. Front side really is flying open early which usually is a sign of rushing and getting out of rhythm. If there was a bigger drop in velocity, I would be more concerned.

traderumor
06-05-2009, 11:39 AM
Here's a snapshot of Harang's 2009 to date:
K/9= 7.63;
BB/9= 2.00;
FIP: 4.07;

So far he's been almost exactly the guy that he was projected to be (http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1827123&highlight=2009+reds+project#post1827123).

Here's an average NL starter so far:
K/9= 6.8;
BB/9= 3.41;
FIP= 4.31;

All of that said, as suggested, he has thrown roughly half as many sliders during the last two starts as he normally would.

Last night he was having obvious command issues. I confess that I can't remember his Milwaukee outing concerning command. But his slider didn't seem to be doing much last night which might explain why he relied on his fastball.

His velocity over the last two outings has been fine regarding his fastball (90-92 mph).

Maybe he's having a mechanical snafu? I don't think there is reason to fear an undisclosed injury.Yea, I hope it is just mechanical. I hope our pitching coach is at least as smart as our TV commentator and has been on top of this and that it is just not come together yet. I was paying pretty close attention to FSN Ohio radar last night and he was only throwing high 80s. Of course, that is anecdotally and FSN's gun seems erratic. But, with his workload, maybe I'm just biased by some self-fulfilling propechies, whereby I am in year 2 of waiting for his breakdown.

CTA513
06-05-2009, 12:20 PM
His slider hasn't been that great this season so it could be the reason he hasn't thrown it as much.

_Sir_Charles_
06-05-2009, 12:27 PM
Yea, I hope it is just mechanical. I hope our pitching coach is at least as smart as our TV commentator and has been on top of this and that it is just not come together yet. I was paying pretty close attention to FSN Ohio radar last night and he was only throwing high 80s. Of course, that is anecdotally and FSN's gun seems erratic. But, with his workload, maybe I'm just biased by some self-fulfilling propechies, whereby I am in year 2 of waiting for his breakdown.

I don't know which one is right, but Gameday consistantly showed him 91-93 on his fastball throughout the game.

redsmetz
06-05-2009, 12:49 PM
Yea, I hope it is just mechanical. I hope our pitching coach is at least as smart as our TV commentator and has been on top of this and that it is just not come together yet. I was paying pretty close attention to FSN Ohio radar last night and he was only throwing high 80s. Of course, that is anecdotally and FSN's gun seems erratic. But, with his workload, maybe I'm just biased by some self-fulfilling propechies, whereby I am in year 2 of waiting for his breakdown.

Nothing personal, TR, but that's sort of the usual thing around RedsZone where folks tend to thing someone or something will fall apart. While it's certainly possible, I think we expect it way too much. Sometimes guys just have hills and valleys and they work it all out.

Mario-Rijo
06-05-2009, 12:57 PM
I thought that was his slider he was making Ludwick look goofy on time after time. It was kind of slurvish but definitely not a curveball. Those pitches were excellent IMO.

jojo
06-05-2009, 01:07 PM
Nothing personal, TR, but that's sort of the usual thing around RedsZone where folks tend to thing someone or something will fall apart. While it's certainly possible, I think we expect it way too much. Sometimes guys just have hills and valleys and they work it all out.

But as traderumor pointed out, Harang has thrown significantly fewer sliders over his last two starts. Pitch f/x verifies it and also suggests that the slider's Harang has thrown have behaved differently than Harang's normal offering. That jives at least with my eyes concerning last night.

Is it coincidence or correlation? I dunno. It very well could just be two outings in a row where Harang's stuff wasn't top notch for whatever reason that will correct itself. But I wish we had a beat writer who would ask Harang questions like why he's threw fewer sliders etc. Harang's answers would be potentially fascinating IMHO.

nate
06-05-2009, 01:11 PM
But as traderumor pointed out, Harang has thrown significantly fewer sliders over his last two starts. Pitch f/x verifies it and also suggests that the slider's Harang has thrown have behaved differently than Harang's normal offering. That jives at least with my eyes concerning last night.

Is it coincidence or correlation? I dunno. It very well could just be two outings in a row where Harang's stuff wasn't top notch for whatever reason that will correct itself. But I wish we had a beat writer who would ask Harang questions like why he's threw fewer sliders etc. Harang's answers would be potentially fascinating IMHO.

I recall Harang saying after the Brewers game that he was having a hard time locating his breaking pitches.

traderumor
06-05-2009, 01:14 PM
But as traderumor pointed out, Harang has thrown significantly fewer sliders over his last two starts. Pitch f/x verifies it and also suggests that the slider's Harang has thrown have behaved differently than Harang's normal offering. That jives at least with my eyes concerning last night.

Is it coincidence or correlation? I dunno. It very well could just be two outings in a row where Harang's stuff wasn't top notch for whatever reason that will correct itself. But I wish we had a beat writer who would ask Harang questions like why he's threw fewer sliders etc. Harang's answers would be potentially fascinating IMHO.I imagine he would not give a revealing answer to such a detailed question in season to keep from revealing trade secrets. Which, if that was the case, I would understand. No sense in doing the scouts' work for them.

RANDY IN INDY
06-05-2009, 01:16 PM
I imagine he would not give a revealing answer to such a detailed question in season to keep from revealing trade secrets. Which, if that was the case, I would understand. No sense in doing the scouts' work for them.

Exactly!:beerme:

RANDY IN INDY
06-05-2009, 01:17 PM
I recall Harang saying after the Brewers game that he was having a hard time locating his breaking pitches.

He hasn't been exactly pinpoint with his fastball lately, either. Makes me think it is mechanical more than physical.

jojo
06-05-2009, 01:25 PM
I imagine he would not give a revealing answer to such a detailed question in season to keep from revealing trade secrets. Which, if that was the case, I would understand. No sense in doing the scouts' work for them.

It took me two minutes to figure out with hard numbers that his repertoire has been significantly different on the road trip. Any FO worth it's salt gets daily pitch f/x data broken down into handedness, count, situation etc to go along with the reports their advanced scouts generate.

Harang wouldn't be revealing trade secrets especially since I doubt the game plan was for him to throw half as many sliders in either outing.

traderumor
06-05-2009, 01:56 PM
It took me two minutes to figure out with hard numbers that his repertoire has been significantly different on the road trip. Any FO worth it's salt gets daily pitch f/x data broken down into handedness, count, situation etc to go along with the reports their advanced scouts generate.

Harang wouldn't be revealing trade secrets especially since I doubt the game plan was for him to throw half as many sliders in either outing.But you are wanting him to tell why. That is something that you cannot glean from the data, so we start a thread for possible explanations.

So, analogously, I'm the scout, I phone in this observation to the office, you confirmed my eyes with data, but neither one of us know why, and neither do our opponents. Yet, you want our beat writer to tell the world why Aaron Harang is throwing fewer of his bread and butter pitch? Why not just have Aaron write the other team a scouting report on himself?

jojo
06-05-2009, 02:01 PM
But you are wanting him to tell why. That is something that you cannot glean from the data, so we start a thread for possible explanations.

So, analogously, I'm the scout, I phone in this observation to the office, you confirmed my eyes with data, but neither one of us know why, and neither do our opponents. Yet, you want our beat writer to tell the world why Aaron Harang is throwing fewer of his bread and butter pitch? Why not just have Aaron write the other team a scouting report on himself?

I'm wanting the questions to be asked so that I can hear how Harang answers them.

If it's super secret, he wouldn't answer. If he threw fewer because he didn't "have it" he could answer. Heck, Harang might not have even realized just how few sliders he actually threw. Pitchers/hitters/coaches blab all of the time about their mechanics and the latest tweak. They blab all the time about their approach to hitter/pitcher X. This isn't super secret stuff. People who outta know about "approach" already do.

Who knows what his answer would be and it wouldn't even have to be all that specific to be very interesting to read.

RANDY IN INDY
06-05-2009, 02:21 PM
A lot of the answers that baseball players give are cliche. Go through the motions and get it over with.

Caveat Emperor
06-05-2009, 02:26 PM
A lot of the answers that baseball players give are cliche. Go through the motions and get it over with.

And really, I don't care what he says as long as someone is aware of the situation and working with Harang to make it better.

Having said that, we are talking about a pitcher who threw a CG last night. Peaks and valleys happen.

RANDY IN INDY
06-05-2009, 02:39 PM
Being a good pitcher is when you go out to the mound without your best stuff (which is a majority of the time) and pitch the way Harang pitched last night. Find a way to keep your team in the game and battle. All those double plays were great, but Harang rolled them.

traderumor
06-05-2009, 03:41 PM
Being a good pitcher is when you go out to the mound without your best stuff (which is a majority of the time) and pitch the way Harang pitched last night. Find a way to keep your team in the game and battle. All those double plays were great, but Harang rolled them.I don't deny any of that, but he had the same stuff against Milwaukee and wasn't so lucky. To be helpful and consistent, he is going to have to have better stuff than he has his last three starts. Houston was tattooing him also.

RANDY IN INDY
06-05-2009, 04:08 PM
I know he hasn't had his good stuff, or good location the last few starts. Until something happens that is radical, you have to go with the notion that he has lost his mechanics for a period. Having played and coached a lot of baseball, I don't find that hard to believe, particularly for someone as tall as Harang. The most minor things can affect your location, and your velocity. If he isn't having pain or compensating, I think he will work it out. If he starts missing starts or complains, then you have something to worry about.

Reds1
06-05-2009, 04:08 PM
Funny, I was talking to a buddy and I told him I thought Harang didn't look right last night. I couldn't put my finger on it, but it's like he was flicking the ball up there more than normal. I always thought he has a nice delivery and heavy ball. He did well, but I did notice for what's that's worth. I would have never said anything here unless there was a thread like this.

Chip R
06-05-2009, 04:31 PM
Wonder if losing that weight messed him up.

mth123
06-05-2009, 06:34 PM
Wonder if losing that weight messed him up.

Or throwing side pitches every 10 minutes during a 2 hour rain delay so he could stay in and qualify for a win.

Seems to be when the noticeable change started...

Falls City Beer
06-05-2009, 06:49 PM
His velocity has been fine. I doubt the long start has had much to do with it.

mth123
06-05-2009, 07:23 PM
His velocity has been fine. I doubt the long start has had much to do with it.

Weakness or injury usually shows up with loss of command before the velocity drops off.

Falls City Beer
06-05-2009, 07:26 PM
Weakness or injury usually shows up with loss of command before the velocity drops off.

Velocity loss would be apparent by now, two starts after the fact. He's fine. His control was bound to correct a bit--he's been pinpoint so far, and really only guys like Maddux have the control that Harang's been exhibiting so far this season. His numbers are going to shift more towards last year's than, say, 2006's numbers. He's not a kid anymore.

Chip R
06-05-2009, 07:46 PM
Or throwing side pitches every 10 minutes during a 2 hour rain delay so he could stay in and qualify for a win.

Seems to be when the noticeable change started...


People were complaining about him even before that start. Remember, in that start he gave up a 3 spot in the 1st inning way before the rain started.

Crosley68
06-05-2009, 07:55 PM
I think he is way too upright even for a tall man. He does not seem to bend his back leg on the pushoff or his front leg on impact as much as he did 2 years ago. I think this goes along with what Team Clark said last year about him not pitching down hill as much as before. Knee Problems maybe?