Major League Baseball is about highs and lows. No one knows this better right now than Aaron Harang. The Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitching staff has hit an all-time high. Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Josh Beckett, and Chad Billingsley will make up the rotation, which moved Chris Capuano, Ted Lilly, and one-time starter Harang to the bullpen.
A lot has changed in a year. Harang had his lowest ERA in 2012 at 3.61, but his record was 10-10, and this means Harang is no longer starting pitching material. The battle he faces is the abundance of talent the Dodgers have. Add to this Harang’s 131 SO and 85 BB, and that translates to an awful 1.54 SO/BB ratio — this has to improve for him to be a starting pitcher.
I believe using Harang in the bullpen is the best choice for the Dodgers. Along with Capuano, that gives the team two solid long relievers. If Beckett or one of the others struggles in the early innings, the Dodgers would have the talented duo to come in and help them win games without using two middle relievers to get to the end of a game.
The reality is if Harang wants to start, it is not going to be in L,A. He is not what he once was, and what’s best for the team is having him in the bullpen — making the move will add wins this year for a franchise that needs to win it all in 2013