The Cincinnati Reds traded for Harang a year later, sending Jose Guillen to the A's and getting Harang, Jeff Bruksch, and Joe Valentine. Harang immediately entered our rotation, had limited success in 2004, and then took the role of ace (by default) in 2005. There is no other pitcher on our staff that the Reds are counting on more than Harang in this early season. Sure, Arroyo has been hot to start the year, and Milton and Claussen need to turn in good performances for us to compete all summer long. But Harang is the only guy that we have who doesn't need to improve. We just need him to keep throwing the way he did last year. And there's no reason to think he can't do just that.
Additional biographical information (with a humorous slant) can be found in Harang's entry in Red Hot Mama's Human League.
Historical Statistics (for explanations of the statistics used in this feature, please see the Baseball Statistics Quicksheet in the sidebar):
'03 to '05 Splits:
Like a lot of pitchers that allow a reasonable number of fly balls, (40-45 GB% last 2 years), Harang's performance does suffer in Great American Ball Park, although his ERA doesn't show it. He allows more home runs there than away from home, though more surprisingly has walked far more batters at home vs. away. Walking hitters in that park is dangerous, as it does heavily favor home runs, even if overall it's a neutral ballpark.
I just hope he can stay effective long enough that we can surround him with some additional solid pitchers and make a real run at the playoffs. He's the first legitimate starting pitcher we've had since Pete Harnisch. While he might not reach the heights that Harnisch did, and probably isn't what you look for in an ace, Harang has proven to be a very solid pitcher who could be the #2 or #3 guy on most major league rotations. Can you imagine what our rotation would be like without him?
Baseball Archive, The
Baseball Cube, The
Baseball Prospectus '06 Annual
Baseball Think Factory
Hardball Times '06 Annual
Minor League Ball