Asked yesterday whether Opening Day starter Aaron Harang will be removed from the Reds’ rotation after going 0-3 with an 8.31 ERA, manager Dusty Baker said:
I can’t tell you before I talk to him. Plus, we’re talking about it but this guy is getting paid handsomely to be a starter. At this point, who do you have to take his place? And we need him to win. It’s four starts. If it was 14 starts, it’d be a different thing.
Of course, if Dusty read Hardball Talk he would have seen my note from yesterday about how Harang’s struggles stretch back to last season and include his going 1-13 with a 5.41 ERA in his past 20 starts.
So when Baker says “if it was 14 starts, it’d be a different thing” what kind of “thing” would be it if it was actually 20 starts?
Also, someone please tell Dusty we have an RSS feed and a Twitter page that bring Hardball Talk directly to the reader without clogging the bases or anything.
Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.
Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.
The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.