2012 Dodgers in Review #28: SP Aaron Harang

3.61 ERA 4.14 FIP 179.2 IP 6.56 K/9 4.26 BB/9 1.5 fWAR B+

2012 in brief: Provided a steady, if unspectacular, back-end presence.

2013 status: Signed for $7m in final year of back-loaded two-year deal.

******

Aaron Harang is boring. Really, really, boring, with one obvious exception that we’ll get to in a second. I say that, believe it or not, without any negative connotation at all. Harang rarely went out and delivered an outstanding effort, reaching or topping 70 in Game Score just four times. (Clayton Kershaw, by comparison, did so 15 times.) But he was rarely awful, either, allowing more than four earned runs in a game only three times. Only three times – not the same three – did he fail to complete at least five innings; only six times did he get through seven.

What Harang did do was take the ball every fifth day and generally give the team a chance to win, more often than not getting pulled in or after the sixth inning having two to four earned runs. He was almost eminently average, and while you know how I feel about win/loss record, the fact that he ended up at 10-10 is just about perfect. He didn’t get hurt, he didn’t kill you, and he lasted through the entire season. For a fifth starter, that’s the kind of thing teams dream about.

That’s boring, and means it was a season largely without notable moments – hence the lack of quotables here – but it’s far from being without value. Don’t forget, this was a rotation that lost Ted Lilly for nearly the entire year, Chad Billingsley for almost half of it, and had a questionable Kershaw for most of the final month. To simply have someone being quietly reliable like Harang, is more than worthwhile.

That’s not exactly the same thing as being “good,” of course. What’s the main difference between the 14-7, 3.61 he had with San Diego in 2011 and the 10-10, 3.64 he had with the Dodgers this year? (Other than win/loss record being stupid, of course.) Well, it’s a funny thing; Harang’s strikeout rate held steady, but his walk rate shot up from 3.06 per nine to 4.26, highest since his rookie season. Yet while he put more runners on via the walk, he managed to avoid the big inning by restricting hitters to 0.70 HR/9 and a .277 BABIP, each career low marks. I’m honestly having a hard time seeing him repeat that next year; on the other hand, he did end the season with ten straight starts allowing three runs or fewer.

As vanilla as Harang’s season may have been, we’d be remiss not to note what happened in San Diego on April 13, his second start of the season:

Aaron Harang allowed a leadoff single to Cameron Maybin, and then proceeded to strike out each of the next nine batters. Aaron Effing Harang! The nine consecutive strikeouts topped Johnny Podres’ eight to set a new Dodger record and fell one short of tying Tom Seaver’s ten in a row for the big league record. Podres won some of the biggest games in franchise history. Seaver was a no-doubter Hall of Famer. Aaron Harang is Aaron Harang. Can’t predict baseball, indeed. Harang was touched in the fourth for three runs, including a Will Venable homer which broke the streak, but came back to whiff four more to tie his career high with 13 in his 6 1/3 innings of work. After a disappointing debut as a Dodger in the only loss of the season so far, it was an amazing turnaround for the veteran Harang.

Harang, of course, never approximated anything like that for the rest of the season. But sometimes half the job is just showing up, and he at least did that. Fine work, Aaron. Now enjoy pitching in Toronto or Seattle or Miami or wherever you’re inevitably headed once the Dodgers sign a couple of starting pitchers.

******

Next up! You think Aaron Harang is boring? Meet Joe Blanton!

150 comments
capnsparrow
capnsparrow

Oh and one final funny picture. Even though it's nowhere near as funny as Hoagiebums depiction of Harang's year.

http://goo.gl/t4Cpq

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

I found this on an older entries LFP page and thought,   That poor bastard how in God's name did we expect so much out Donnie?                 http://goo.gl/FpQit

Mike Petriello
Mike Petriello moderator

One more review today, as I travel home, then something more fun tomorrow.

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

mike had to pick the pic where Harang looked the fattest possible, right?

Paulstralia
Paulstralia

This is the most baseball-heavy comments section I've seen in a long time. 

DodgerRob
DodgerRob

I am honoring the Harrangutang post post in my own way.

RustyH
RustyH

Watching Harrang pitch is like watching kids play with knives.  Eventually, you just felt like something bad was going to happen.

Mike Petriello
Mike Petriello moderator

So I'm using my dad's odd "Ipad with keyboard attached" combo. It's... interesting.

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

man the handling of Hector Camacho's death is starting to scare me.

DINGERS!
DINGERS!

@Disgruntled Goat @hoagiebum It's funny cuz his BUTT is its own presence.

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

 @capnsparrow that's funny, but seriously... i expect him to not have one of his best hitters bunt with a slow runner at first with the season on the line. #NeverForget 

Hoagiebum
Hoagiebum

 @VietnamDodger

 While Harang's back end presence may not have been spectacular, it certainly was substantial.

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

i dont analyze. i entertain.

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

as i was about to make a drunk post

DINGERS!
DINGERS!

@capnsparrow I know one of them makes a decent milkshake

efb
efb

 @capnsparrow Why does my anti-virus software block so many links posted on the comments? what websites are these? 

DINGERS!
DINGERS!

@Catfishin go watch hockey then OH WAIT ROFL

Hoagiebum
Hoagiebum

 @Disgruntled Goat   

 Please don't get me started on Mattingly. I so want a new manager. New ownership should have brought in new management, both general and field. Fresh start.

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

 @efb check your settings. I don't know which program you use but all of them have different site lists that block certain sites. You can always add exceptions though

Mike Petriello
Mike Petriello moderator

@VietnamDodger it's a mid-atlantic convienience store chain with a sandwich counter and it's wonderful

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

dumb ancillary testing of brain function is clouding the family and public's understanding of brain death.

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

 @Disgruntled Goat   @IBBFTW  @hoagiebum The best return for the least risk is with a hybrid arrangement. The TV networks have the advertisers trained to drive Brinks trucks to their banks. So there is no need to upset that apple cart. Fox and Time Warner have figured out how to squeeze the sat. providers the most as well. So why risk a fledgling distribution model when the 2 best available are there ready to use. You just give up an ownership stake for it. Forbes estimates it could be worth a cool 400 mm per year. That's twice the payroll every body is going crazy over right now. That is currently within the black side of the revenues. Mark Walter is a financial genius. 

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

 @capnsparrow  @IBBFTW  @hoagiebum Yeah, i was thinking the other day that it might better for the dodgers to make a deal with a RSN and get guaranteed money, rather than take the risk for this reason. 

DINGERS!
DINGERS!

Or having an ex Cubbie/Gnat as GM. At least we can point and laugh at the Yankees now when they sell off the team's RSN. Not like Fox doesn't have a horrible history of ownership. BWAHAHAHAHAHA@capnsparrow @Disgruntled Goat @hoagiebum

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

 @Disgruntled Goat   @hoagiebum Horrible lineups are attributable to the roster. Deplorable tactics are only necessary when not leading by 3 or 4 runs late in the game. I hope both of those problems are solved. We shall see!

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

 @hoagiebum  @Disgruntled Goat  I am not ready to throw in the towel just just yet on them. For this reason. When america sends a soldier into battle they train him for 2 months, equip him with an automatic rifle with 800 rounds of ammo, Body armor, NBC protection. An edged weapon.Food and water to last several days. A field medic. Leadership and Air, Naval, and Artillery support. Look what they sent don to work with. A collection of AAA guys who he managed to hold together long enough to get some real reinforcements in. This year will tell the story. And it's the last year of Don's deal.

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

ooohhh. one day ill go to the wawa

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

if the reports of true brain death are to be believed, it means he has no brain stem function - without this area of the brain there is no hope. organ procurement is the only reason to keep him on life support. :(

Cochito Commish
Cochito Commish

 @VietnamDodger I care. Teach me things. If he's brain dead, is there any logical reason why he is still on life support other than the family having blind hope?

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

hahahaha. Moar testing!!

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

i guess only people in medicine. nvrmnd lets talk about beer (?)