Recently it was explained that Atlanta Braves GM Frank Wren and his various scouts saw something in Aaron Harang that suggested to them that he was going to return to his better form from when he pitched for the Cincinnati Reds a few years ago. At the time there was no reason to argue with whatever they said because Harang was the surprise of the year on the mound with a microscopic ERA. Everyone is happy in paradise after all; why question anything?
Of course the Braves paradise came crashing down this week with not one blowout but two back to back smashings at the hands of the Miami Marlins of all teams. Now it would be very easy for all doubters to come out of the woodwork and shout that they knew Harang wasn’t that good anymore. Just look at how bad he pitches now and that kind of thing will come from the ones who knew it was too good to be true.
Well, there is something that people like that should remember. Wren and company never said they thought he was going to be the best pitcher in MLB. They didn’t expect that so they cannot be said to be wrong about that. What they wanted from Harang was a pitcher who could eat innings and help keep the bullpen from getting too tired too early because of an injury laden starting rotation.
Even last season when he was so bad for the Seattle Mariners, Harang still pitched 143 innings including time with the New York Mets. He won’t be Cy Young. It was nice while it lasted but you can bet he will give up some runs now and then. What he will do is exactly what Wren signed him to do however; he will eat innings. Don’t expect him to be on the first road to an assignment after one bad start. We wouldn’t expect that for Alex Wood. Harang isn’t going anywhere just yet.