I don’t think anyone could have predicted the year Aaron Harang is having so far this season with the Atlanta Braves. After being released by the Cleveland Indians in Spring Training, even Harang might have wondered whether or not he would ever see the field again as a starting pitcher.
However, when a couple of bad injuries occurred to Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy, which would force them to miss the whole year, Atlanta had to look elsewhere for some much-needed help. Enter Harang, who the Braves decided to take a risky gamble on despite his recent track record the previous two years, and wow, did it pay it off in a big way.
Harang has been a force so far this season with Atlanta, and if I’m GM Frank Wren, I would be playing a couple of lottery tickets right away. Wren took a huge chance on Harang and hit the jackpot. He was awful for the Indians in Spring Training. However, this didn’t make Wren shy away from giving him a shot. After all, Atlanta was pretty desperate at this point.
It needed to fill two massive holes in their starting rotation, so why not take a chance on Harang? Despite two poor seasons in a row, he was still a solid starter throughout the course of his career. He had an ERA of 4.24 and over 100 wins during his 12-year career, which is why the Braves had to take a chance on him. Besides Ervin Santana, there weren’t a lot of other options in the open market for starting pitchers either.
Even though Harang didn’t get the win against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday, he showed why he’s been a great addition to the rotation. Against Arizona, he pitched for six innings, giving up four hits, three earned runs, six walks and struck out four to conclude a decent performance on the mound. He might not have had his best stuff out there, but he still gave his team a chance to win the game.
I know he gave up the lead in the bottom of the seventh, but it’s not his fault the offense didn’t provide a little more help. You can’t expect the 36-year-old right-hander to pitch well every single time he takes the mound. His 3.33 ERA for the season is much more than the Braves could have anticipated from him, and they need to reward Harang for it. He’s been amazing this year, and now it’s time for the offense to do their part to help him out.