Aaron Harang has not been the "ace" of the Reds starting rotation for a long time. He has still been considered a key part of the pitching staff and a valuable veteran presence in the clubhouse. However, his ineffectiveness over the last couple of seasons may have finally reached its peak yesterday against the Rockies.
After the Reds jumped to a 4-0 lead early, Harang gave the lead right back. He failed to get out of the third inning, lasting just 2 1/3 while giving up four hits and four runs. He also walked three batters, including the opposing pitcher.
Since coming off the disabled list, Harang has given up five runs on 12 hits and six walks in just 6 1/3 innings. Harang did not pitch well during his rehab assignment in the minors, either.
So, what do the Reds do with Harang? Dusty Baker said a decision will have to be made sooner than later.
“Yeah, pretty soon,” Baker said. “We’ll discuss things and see. We can’t have these short outings. That puts pressure on my bullpen for the ensuing days after that.”
I got a chance to meet Aaron Harang earlier this season and he could not have been nicer. He has donated a lot of time and money to various charitable organizations. The media has always described him as a stand-up guy who will be honest and never duck a question, even after a bad outing.
This is the sad, but unavoidable aspect of professional sports. Fans can be passionate about a team or player without consequence. Decision-makers (managers, general managers, etc.) have to be able to separate the person from the player.
The Reds are in a pennant race. They cannot afford to allow Harang to make another start.