Before the season began, the big talk around baseball was how deep the Dodgers’ Starting Rotation was. 8 guys for 5 slots. It could have even been said that the Dodgers had too much starting pitching. To counter that, I’d say this was a much better problem to have than too little. Anyone remember the season when we had Derek Lowe, Jeff Weaver, and 3 warm bodies? And people were talking about how Jeff Weaver was effectively our ace stopper?
I’m sorry, I had to stop and laugh for a few minutes. Hysterically. I just used the name “Jeff Weaver” and the words “ace stopper” in the same sentence and in context with one another.
And I did it again. Deep breaths. Deep breaths. Okay, let’s get serious again. (Seriously, that’s how thin our starting rotation looked one year.)
Back to the topic at-hand. It was apparent that the Dodgers would have to make a move, that there would be some team out there in need of veteran starting pitching, and one or more of the trio of Harang, Chris Capuano or Ted Lilly would have to go (or perhaps Chad Billingsly if the return was significant, though this was the least likely scenario.)
Well, the Octuplets have finally been split up! One of them has, anyway. Harang has been traded today to the Colorado Rockies for 36 year old catcher Ramon Hernandez.
Harang was solid, but not spectacular in his one full season in Los Angeles, pitching his way to a 10-10 record and recording a decent ERA of 3.61. Harang, however, struggled this spring and was sporting an 8.10 ERA as late as March 20th (according to an ESPN article) before starting the season in the Dodger bullpen. Harang did not make an appearance for the Dodgers in their first 4 games.
Aaron Harang did have one spectacular highlight for the Dodgers in 2012, striking out the 9 consective batters against the San Diego Padres on April 14th, finishing the game with 13 K’s in 6 1/3 innings. The Dodgers would win that game by a final score of 9-8.
The 34 year old right hander departs, taking his 105-104 career record and his 4.15 career ERA to the Rockies, and the 36 year old backup catcher takes his place. It is expected that the Dodgers will option backup catcher Tim Federowicz to AAA Albuquerque rather than carry 3 catchers. Hernandez sports a .264 career batting average with 166 homers according to his ESPN Player Profile page. However, Baseball Reference shows that Hernandez hit a paltry .148 in 27 at-bats this spring and failed to leave the yard. Like Harang, Hernandez has not appeared in any games during this regular season.
So long, Aaron. When we visit you in Colorado, please remember to hang a few breaking balls for us. And for better or for worse, Ramon Hernandez, welcome to Los Angeles.