Question of the Day, 8/16 …
What do they do with Dan Haren? — John M., Culver City, Calif.
First I’ll give you what Mike Scioscia told us after his latest dud …
“We look at this thing every day, and there are some options you would consider, and we’re going to continue to look at this over the next couple of days to see where we go. But Dan, pitching even just to what you would consider an average year, is very important for us. He doesn’t have to go out there and be Superman. He needs to pitch to just what we would expect him to do on a start-by-start basis, and we’re having a little inconsistency with that. We’re going to look at some things, obviously. Dan, he’s not taking this lightly, nobody’s taking this lightly, and he’s such a competitor that you just hope he’s going to find something that’s going to just give him a little better chance of going out there and putting pitches together.”
OK, so that didn’t explain much. There just aren’t a lot of answers right now. The Angels, at least, do have an off day on Monday. What they can do is skip Haren, give him some time to figure things out and temporarily go with a better option while he tries to. They can start Ervin Santana on five days’ rest on Tuesday, then Jered Weaver (Wednesday), C.J. Wilson (Thursday) and Zack Greinke (Friday) can go normal rest the rest of the way. Haren’s start would then come Saturday, which the Angels can fill with Jerome Williams if they’d like. Another option would be Garrett Richards, who threw seven shutout innings in that ballpark on July 17. But to bring him up, how do you make room? Jordan Walden and Scott Downs will most likely take the bullpen spots of Steven Geltz and Hisanori Takahashi. Once that happens, the only guys with options will be Kevin Jepsen and Ernesto Frieri, and you’re not sending those guys down. They can just DL Haren for a second time, but they keep saying his back doesn’t hurt.
A very long, drawn-out way of saying that the best solution is to skip Haren with Williams while he tries to figure it out. Will it work? Who knows. But it’s tough to justify him taking the mound right now.