Josh Donaldson

When They Pull a Knife, You Pull a Gun

UPDATE 4:56 CST: One of our readers tipped us to this fantastic piece on Rich Harden's mechanics (with video) by Carlos Gomez at The Hardball Times. Can't recommend it enough....


I've had a little time to digest the trade since my initial reaction and a little time to actually write about it now. I don't think there's too many warm-blooded Cubs fan out there who aren't happy about the deal...other than maybe a Chicken Little or two that are never happy with anything the Cubs do.

We all know the risks. Rich Harden has all the durability of a roll of toilet paper caught in a rainstorm. He was called up half way through the 2003 season, proceeded to make 31 starts in 2004 and has battled injuries ever since. The list is too long and complicated for me to dive into, so we'll wait for the good Dr. Hecht to chime in on that side of the trade. Harden's 13 starts this year are his highest total since 2005 and he spent almost a month of this year already on the disabled list. But in those 13 starts, he's gone 5-1
with a 2.34 ERA, 10.75 K/9, 2.97 K:BB and 0.58 HR/9.

He once had a fastball that could hit 100, although he seems to have dialed it back a bit this year. He compliments that fastball with a fantastic change-up and that's pretty much it. He'll occasionally throw a slider in there, but seems to have scrapped it for the most part this season. A quick and dirty comparison with some of the best in the game using career numbers:

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  • I noticed that too. He's getting to everything, but when he gets right under it on a high flyball he looks uncomfortable

    cubbies.4ever 2 hours 52 min ago view
  • Did you expect anything different?

    billybucks 3 hours 22 min ago view
  • Wow, did they blow this game. Stupid plays by the kids in the 7th -- Almora throwing to 3rd instead of 2nd to keep the DP in order (when a DP probably wins the game) and Baez throwing to 3rd (to a backpedalling KB) instead of getting the easy 2nd out at first - cost them the game. Also, Contreras almost throws the ball into RF on a nonexistent pick-off play. And Maddon, for using Peralta in the first place. Did they do a bunch of shots in the dugout before the 7th? Unbelievably bad baseball. I thought Almora had a high baseball IQ?

    billybucks 3 hours 44 min ago view
  • men on 2nd/3rd, 0 out...and nothing.

    cubs lose :(

    crunch 4 hours 17 min ago view
  • UH OH! RALLY TIME!

    crunch 4 hours 26 min ago view
  • Getting tired of this Heywood weak sauce

    jacos 4 hours 37 min ago view
  • Yep, can't say I disagree with that. His first batter and resulting walk was just brutal. Reminded me of a bit of Jacque Jones spiking his throws into the ground from RF.

    Eric S 4 hours 46 min ago view
  • The use of Peralta in any semblance of a high leverage situation is questionable at best.

    fixed that for ya.

    crunch 4 hours 53 min ago view
  • The use of Peralta in any semblance of a high leverage situation is questionable at best. Hind sight is easy but Peralta had nothing.

    Eric S 5 hours 1 min ago view
  • make that just peralta...

    crunch 5 hours 2 min ago view
  • a.soriano new OF fielding coach?

    crunch 6 hours 5 min ago view
  • Why is Almora jumping up on catches?

    jacos 6 hours 7 min ago view
  • "Tommy La Stella (hamstring) will remain on his minor league rehab assignment through at least Friday."

    should be an interesting roster shuffle once these guys trickle back in. i imagine patton or peralta are on the hot seat for la stella's return.

    crunch 6 hours 27 min ago view
  • 6 pitches, 2 run lead.

    neat.

    crunch 7 hours 35 min ago view
  • So am I. Point remains.

    Old and Blue 17 hours 25 min ago view
  • Not certain why the site has been slowed. Worked much of Wednesday on it and will continue today. Sorry for the inconvenience. I will probably take it offline for a while, but it will be up before the game against the Mets.

    WebAdmin 1 day 1 hour ago view