Daily Dodger in Review: Aaron Harang was mediocre, and that’s OK

Aaron Harang went 10-10 with a 3.81 ERA with the Dodgers in 2012.
(Patrick T. Fallon / Los Angeles Times)

AARON HARANG, 34, starting pitcher

Final 2012 stats: 10-10, 3.61 ERA, 31 starts, 1.40 WHIP, 6.6 strikeouts per nine innings, .246 opponent batting average.

Contract status: Signed for next season at $7 million.

The good: Ate up almost 180 innings, averaging nearly six innings per start. Went less than five innings in only four of 31 starts. Struck out a team record nine consecutive batters in his second start.

Had an 11-game stretch from May 28 to July 25 in which he sported a 2.60 ERA and held opponents to a .215 batting average. Went 8-5 on the road. For some reason, was tough on No. 5 hitters, holding them to a .151 batting average and one homer on the season.

The bad: Went 1-2 with a 5.75 ERA in his five April starts. In his 10 losses, had a 6.04 ERA. Pitched longer than seven innings only twice all season. Walked a career-high 85.

What’s next: Barring injury, he’s either headed to the trade market or to the bullpen as a long man.


The take: When the season was settled, Harang gave the Dodgers almost exactly what they could have expected. There was no rising above expectations, no grand disappointment.

At worst, he was an average major-league starting pitcher. Had a few poor starts, a few excellent ones, and a lot that were right down the middle. He at least gave you a chance to win most every start, which most teams would be thrilled with for a No.5 starter.

But a simple chance won’t be good enough to remain in the upgraded rotation next season. With the additions of Zack Greinke, Josh Beckett and Ryu Hyun-jin, three of the starters the Dodgers began last season with -- Ted Lilly, Chris Capuano and Harang -- are looking for new roles or new teams.

Harang’s 3.61 ERA last season was actually a career-low, so he clearly has some value. However, he has almost exclusively been a starter throughout his 11-year career and his best value is his ability to take the ball every fifth day.


Daily Dodger in Review: Nick Punto, the solid backup

Former Dodger Jerry Sands is traded again, this time to Pirates

One night at Dodger Stadium, the young taught a lesson in giving