Seemingly, Carlos Zambrano and Aaron Harang have faced off a thousand times in their careers. They've already done it once this year, with Zambrano coming out on top as he has done quite a bit recently against the Reds.
Apparently the two won't be starting a game against each other for a while as Zambrano has been shipped to the bullpen after a shaky start to the season. Aaron Harang could be next.
In yet another not-so-hot start Wednesday night, Harang got lit up for six earned runs on 10 hits in just 5.2 innings and running his already high ERA up to an even higher 8.31.
Harang is making $12.5 million this season with an option for next, so while the Reds can't completely give up on him yet, they are not going to do anyone any good by running him out there every five days to not only get killed, but to drain the bullpen as well.
All spring we heard "Aaron is working on some things and will be great once the season starts." Really? If an 8.31 ERA is "great" I'd be scared to see how high it would have been if he wasn't working on so many things in spring training. The Aaron Harang of old is apparently gone...for good. No longer will we see the pitcher who was a rock in 2006-2007 going 32-17 and getting actual Cy Young consideration. Now, we get the Harang who is 12-33 over the last two-plus seasons.
What went wrong? Some point to the 2008 outing in San Diego when Harang pitched four innings three days after throwing 5.1 innings. Some point to his conditioning. All the while the Reds staff insists he is in great shape and throwing the ball well. The other teams would agree...as they race around the diamond scoring runs at will.
Are the Reds going to release Harang? Doubtful. The team is very money-conscious right now. Should they do something, ANYTHING to try and switch things up? Yes they should. The only problem with the Reds right now is no one is really pitching well enough in AAA or on the current staff to take his place. So, my guess is for the foreseeable future, Aaron Harang will keep his rotation spot. And the Reds will keep losing every time he pitches.