Turn Off Ads?
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 44

Thread: Nice piece on Aaron Harang from fangraphs

  1. #1
    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    34,844

    Nice piece on Aaron Harang from fangraphs

    What happened to Harang?

    by Peter Bendix - January 4, 2009 · Filed under Sleepers, Starting Pitchers

    Last season began well enough for Aaron Harang.

    In fact, through his first 11 starts, he was having a normal, Harang-like season. Check it out:



    Harang had a 3.50 ERA, more or less what we’d expect given those peripherals. But then, Dusty Baker made an interesting decision.

    On May 22, Aaron Harang made a start on normal rest. Then, on May 25, Baker brought Harang into a tie game in the 13th inning. Harang proceeded to pitch 4 shutout innings, striking out 9 and throwing 63 pitches in the process. Harang’s next start was on May 29.

    Starting pitchers have been known to pitch an inning out of the bullpen between starts, but Harang threw 63 pitches – in a tie game, no less. Of course, Harang has had a rubber arm over the last couple of seasons, having pitched over 200 innings in three straight years. If anyone could handle the added workload, it would be Harang, right?

    Apparently not.

    After the bullpen appearance, Harang had a 7.31 in his next eight starts. Here are his accompanying peripherals:



    His strikeout rate was approximately the same, but he walked one more batter per nine innings. His homer rate also skyrocketed. The question is: was Harang unlucky – thanks to a very-high BABIP and homer rate – or was he hurt?

    Well, Harang was placed on the DL on July 9 with a strained right forearm. He was then activated on August 10. However, he struggled mightily in his first two starts, giving up a total of 16 runs in 7 1/3 innings. After that, though, Harang seemed to regain his past form. Check it out:



    He posted a 2.83 ERA over these eight starts.

    So what does it all mean? Well…

    On the one hand, Harang’s peripherals didn’t really change too much throughout the season, even after his bullpen stint. His walk rate rose, and it’s very possible that fatigue caused him to lose control of his pitches. However, his strikeout rate remained high, and it’s possible that his high BABIP and high homer rate could be more attributed to bad luck in a small sample size rather than anything else.

    On the other hand, it’s difficult to ignore the fact that Harang’s ERA changed drastically directly after his outing in the bullpen. If he did indeed lose control of his pitches (as evidenced by the higher walk rate), it’s not difficult to surmise that he was also grooving an inordinate amount of pitches, leading to a higher BABIP and higher homer rate.

    After he returned from the DL, his first two starts were awful, but this can be very easily be attributed to the fact that he wasn’t yet fully healthy. In his final eight starts, Harang more-or-less returned to “normal” form. His BABIP was actually a little low, and his strikeout rate was lower than before. Again, it’s difficult to tell whether this is significant or the product of a small sample size.

    If I had to guess, I’d say that the bullpen stint somehow screwed Harang up. It’s very possible that his 7.31 ERA was inflated partly due to bad luck, but it’s also clear that Harang was not as good of a pitcher after the bullpen outing as he was beforehand. It’s also clear that Harang was pretty much back to “normal” after returning from the DL (well, after his first two starts). This is further evidence for Harang actually being injured.

    For next year, it’s fair to expect Harang to return to his normal numbers – his numbers before 2008. That means that he has the potential to be very undervalued going into drafts next year. There is, of course, a caveat: namely, the possibility that Harang is not fully healthy. This seems unlikely, however, given his performance over the final eight starts of the season.

    Aaron Harang plays for a mediocre team, in front of a poor defense, in a hitter’s park. However, he is also a very good pitcher who is likely to put up numbers that are much better than his 2008 line. It’s reasonable to expect an ERA between 3.50 and 4, and a strikeout rate somewhere around 8 batters per nine. Harang is probably going to be undervalued in your league, and is an excellent sleeper.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/ind...ened-to-harang
    I miss Adam Dunn.

  2. Turn Off Ads?
  3. #2
    Member membengal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Baltimore
    Posts
    9,062

    Re: Nice piece on Aaron Harang from fangraphs

    That guy said:

    If I had to guess, I’d say that the bullpen stint somehow screwed Harang up.
    Welcome to the rather large club, dude.

  4. #3
    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    16,298

    Re: Nice piece on Aaron Harang from fangraphs

    Trying to use stats to backup an assessment then discounting those same stats in the same article is a poor way to go about writing a piece like this.

    You can't try and be statistical and then say this:

    If I had to guess, I’d say that the bullpen stint somehow screwed Harang up.

  5. #4
    Member membengal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Baltimore
    Posts
    9,062

    Re: Nice piece on Aaron Harang from fangraphs

    That decision by Baker last year with Harang in that game remains one of the single most indefensible things I have ever seen from a Cincy manager.

  6. #5
    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    16,298

    Re: Nice piece on Aaron Harang from fangraphs

    Quote Originally Posted by membengal View Post
    That decision by Baker last year with Harang in that game remains one of the single most indefensible things I have ever seen from a Cincy manager.
    While it wasn't the smartest thing ever done, it was also totally overblown.

  7. #6
    Member membengal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Baltimore
    Posts
    9,062

    Re: Nice piece on Aaron Harang from fangraphs

    Except that, it wasn't. It needlessly jeapordized an actual asset for this team, and Harang pitched, however you want to try and spin the numbers, horribly after the abuse. Plus, he came up with arm issues.

    There was nothing overblown about anyones reactions.

  8. #7
    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    16,298

    Re: Nice piece on Aaron Harang from fangraphs

    Quote Originally Posted by membengal View Post
    Except that, it wasn't. It needlessly jeapordized an actual asset for this team, and Harang reacted, however you want to try and spin the numbers, horribly after the abuse. Plus, he came up with arm issues.

    There was nothing overblown about anyones reactions.
    In the middle of Harang's downward spiral, he plowed through the Red Sox like a AA team. If that game were to truly be the cause for his performance issues and "arm troubles", I doubt he would have feasted on the Bosox.

    Not smart? Yep. But I would have loved to see the reaction if he punted that game by putting in a position player, which was the alternative.

    And, has Harang ever spoken about it? Just curous if he wanted to throw.

  9. #8
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    35,575

    Re: Nice piece on Aaron Harang from fangraphs

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post
    In the middle of Harang's downward spiral, he plowed through the Red Sox like a AA team. If that game were to truly be the cause for his performance issues and "arm troubles", I doubt he would have feasted on the Bosox.

    Not smart? Yep. But I would have loved to see the reaction if he punted that game by putting in a position player, which was the alternative.

    And, has Harang ever spoken about it? Just curous if he wanted to throw.
    It shouldn't matter if Harang wanted to throw. He isn't paid to know whether its a good or bad idea. Dustball is, yet still didn't.

  10. #9
    Member membengal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Baltimore
    Posts
    9,062

    Re: Nice piece on Aaron Harang from fangraphs

    Why would Harang speak about it? He has always struck me as a team player and not the kind of guy to make waves. And I am sure he would have wanted to go out there (I think he did), but that doesn't mean he should have been allowed to. That's why Baker is paid to manage. To, in part, protect assets.

    And one max effort outing against the Red Sox in that stretch with adreniline pushing him doesn't take away from what he was during that stretch otherwise...

    The reaction if Baker had done the right thing? I am sure there would have been some people who would have been upset (but, dear heavens, I would hope Baker isn't managing to make the Bad Fundamentals of the world happy...), but I am sure the wisdom of not torching an asset would have also been recognized as the right one by plenty of folks as well.

    There was simply no reason, ever, EVER, to risk Harang in that meaningless May game. Period. Wasn't then, isn't now. Completely indefensible.
    Last edited by membengal; 01-04-2009 at 09:27 PM.

  11. #10
    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    16,298

    Re: Nice piece on Aaron Harang from fangraphs

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    It shouldn't matter if Harang wanted to throw. He isn't paid to know whether its a good or bad idea. Dustball is, yet still didn't.
    Harang threw on 2 days rest. Once. In an emergency situation.

    Did he screw up by throwing Fogg in a short situation? Sure. But stretching out Fogg would have been equivalent to pitching Valentin. A sure loss.

    I guess my question would be "How much of a risk was it?" Can anyone quantify? Is throwing on 2 days rest a sure death sentence?

    Even further, was Harang scheduled to throw a side session?

    Again, I don't think anyone would say that it was the optimal move. But it was a freaky situation.

  12. #11
    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    16,298

    Re: Nice piece on Aaron Harang from fangraphs

    Quote Originally Posted by membengal View Post
    There was simply no reason, ever, EVER, to risk Harang in that meaningless May game. Period. Wasn't then, isn't now. Completely indefensible.
    Trying to win a baseball game is the defense.

    And I would have LOVED to see what would have happened if he punted and that game ended up meaning something.

  13. #12
    Member membengal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Baltimore
    Posts
    9,062

    Re: Nice piece on Aaron Harang from fangraphs

    There would have been OTHER games that "meant something". Like, say, any of a number of Harang's horrible starts after that as he sprialed the drain where he had nothing in the tank. Big picture, edabbs, but you know that.

    As for the insane "side session" defense, there is NO way that a normal side session involves 63 pitches at max effort (he was running the ball up there touching 94 during that outing, as high as he can get) in game situations. That is a horrible defense of the indefensible move.

  14. #13
    Man Pills
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    25,045

    Re: Nice piece on Aaron Harang from fangraphs

    One thing's for sure: if Harang spits the bit this season, it'll be blamed on that bullpen appearance.

  15. #14
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    35,575

    Re: Nice piece on Aaron Harang from fangraphs

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post
    Harang threw on 2 days rest. Once. In an emergency situation.

    Did he screw up by throwing Fogg in a short situation? Sure. But stretching out Fogg would have been equivalent to pitching Valentin. A sure loss.

    I guess my question would be "How much of a risk was it?" Can anyone quantify? Is throwing on 2 days rest a sure death sentence?

    Even further, was Harang scheduled to throw a side session?

    Again, I don't think anyone would say that it was the optimal move. But it was a freaky situation.
    Once is one more time than it should happen short of the playoffs. In May especially its just beyond dumb to think its a good idea. So instead of pitching for the sure loss as you noted, we took the risk of then sending Harang to the DL in favor of Josh Fogg for 6-7 starts and likely 5+ losses. Again, 1 loss or 5+, much less if it actually led to a real bad injury we are talking about losing Harang for a year and even then, would he be the same after that?

    There is no reason at all to use Harang in that situation. Zero.

  16. #15
    Member membengal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Baltimore
    Posts
    9,062

    Re: Nice piece on Aaron Harang from fangraphs

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer View Post
    One thing's for sure: if Harang spits the bit this season, it'll be blamed on that bullpen appearance.
    Not from me, but it was for darn sure a straight line from that to a lost two and a half months in the middle of last season for Cincy/Harang. And I hope against hope that Dusty learned from that mistake as he heads into 2009...


Turn Off Ads?

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Board Moderators may, at their discretion and judgment, delete and/or edit any messages that violate any of the following guidelines: 1. Explicit references to alleged illegal or unlawful acts. 2. Graphic sexual descriptions. 3. Racial or ethnic slurs. 4. Use of edgy language (including masked profanity). 5. Direct personal attacks, flames, fights, trolling, baiting, name-calling, general nuisance, excessive player criticism or anything along those lines. 6. Posting spam. 7. Each person may have only one user account. It is fine to be critical here - that's what this board is for. But let's not beat a subject or a player to death, please.

Thank you, and most importantly, enjoy yourselves!


RedsZone.com is a privately owned website and is not affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds or Major League Baseball


Contact us: Boss | GIK | BCubb2003 | dabvu2498 | Gallen5862 | LexRedsFan | Plus Plus | RedlegJake | redsfan1995 | The Operator | Tommyjohn25