Friday, January 8, 2010

Rich Harden 2010

For years, I was a true believer that Rich Harden would eventually have a breakout season, and be one of the top pitchers in baseball. Unfortunately, that becomes less likely with each passing year. Harden is still injury prone, and hasn't pitched 150 or more innings since 2004. His control was worse than ever last year, as he walked 4.28 batters per nine innings. And with the move to Texas, he's now pitching in a tougher league, in a bad park for flyball pitchers. That said, Harden still has one of the highest strikeout rates in baseball every year, and is still only 28 years old. As always, he'll be a high risk/high reward option for your fantasy team, and his draft position is likely to reflect the decreasing probability that he'll put it all together.

2 comments:

Dave said...

Supposedly he abandoned the slider last year, possibly in an attempt to stay healthy. Pitch f/x supports this, and also suggests he abandoned the splitter. Which anecdotally suggests that this was his reason for losing effectiveness last year. However, he threw 140+ IP for the second consecutive season, and his xFIP was well within what we would expect (3.70, following years of 3.55, 3.80, 3.86). It's true that pitching in Texas will hurt him...but how much? I wonder if the move to Texas counter balances his poor ERA/xFIP ratio from last year.

DrBGiantsfan said...

Any truth to the rumors that his velocity was way down last year?