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Dusty Baker obviously doesn't read Hardball Talk

Apr 23, 2010, 1:46 PM EDT

Asked yesterday whether Opening Day starter Aaron Harang will be removed from the Reds’ rotation after going 0-3 with an 8.31 ERA, manager Dusty Baker said:

I can’t tell you before I talk to him. Plus, we’re talking about it but this guy is getting paid handsomely to be a starter. At this point, who do you have to take his place? And we need him to win. It’s four starts. If it was 14 starts, it’d be a different thing.

Of course, if Dusty read Hardball Talk he would have seen my note from yesterday about how Harang’s struggles stretch back to last season and include his going 1-13 with a 5.41 ERA in his past 20 starts.
So when Baker says “if it was 14 starts, it’d be a different thing” what kind of “thing” would be it if it was actually 20 starts?
Also, someone please tell Dusty we have an RSS feed and a Twitter page that bring Hardball Talk directly to the reader without clogging the bases or anything.

  1. Jonny5 - Apr 23, 2010 at 2:00 PM

    Dusty will have him pitch until his arm explodes all over the field.

  2. DWrek - Apr 23, 2010 at 2:57 PM

    Dont worry Joe Morgan is on board, all of this will change.
    - Opposite Day

  3. scatterbrian - Apr 23, 2010 at 3:02 PM

    “At this point, who do you have to take his place?”
    Who was it you signed for $30.25M this winter?

  4. YANKEES1996 - Apr 23, 2010 at 5:07 PM

    It’s not that he doesn’t read HardBall Talk, it is his memory loss that is the problem just ask the Cubs.

  5. Joe D. - Apr 23, 2010 at 5:12 PM

    The guy posted a 4.21 ERA last season despite:
    * The severe hitters park he pitches in,
    * The worst run support in all of baseball, and
    * The worst support from his defense of all starters in the entire league (as measured by defensive efficiency rating).
    In spite of all that, he still managed to pull an above-average ERA out of his butt.
    “Struggles?”
    We’re four starts into his season. Harang has had two awful starts, one decent, and one good. Not a nice spread, admittedly.
    But the idea that we should chuck out his 2010 body of work and focus only on an arbitrary subset (eg: last 20 starts) is mind-bogglingly ridiculous.
    Whether he’ll be fine or not going forward, I honestly don’t know. But based on the best evidence we have — his performance — it’s painfully obvious he should get more than four starts before the Reds go and do something stupid like pulling the plug on him.

  6. Mark W. - Apr 23, 2010 at 7:56 PM

    Following on to your comment, I own this guy in fantasy and the other day finally went to fangraphs.com to look into his situation.
    Comparing 2009 and 2010 (to date) to his best years, 2006 and 2007 (leaving out 2008 since that’s the year when Dusty infamously had him throw about a thousand pitches during one week in late May) NONE of his pitches have lost any average velocity. He’s actually up a tick so far this year. There’s also no glaring discrepancy in any of his swing-and-miss percentages. It does seem like more of his fly balls are going for HRs than earlier, and I think his line drive percent’s a little up. So they’re hitting the ball harder more often, but it’s not clear why (fastball and slider still have the same speed). Maybe he’s tipping his pitches? If I were Baker and Harang swears he’s not tired, I’d throw him out there a handful more times just to see. There’s no real evidence that he’s lost any stuff, other than the obvious results.

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