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:

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Contreras starting at catcher for a day game after he caught the night before. What do people think the odds are that Montero is left off the post-season roster, or is at best the third catcher?

    Rob Richardson 10 min 51 sec ago view
  • Does he project as a starter, a relief pitcher, or is it too soon to tell?

    Rob Richardson 26 min 28 sec ago view
  • Rizzo getting a well deserved breather today with Bryant at 1B. Soler back in lineup batting cleanup and playing LF, otherwise all of the all-stars batting 1-5 again (what a luxury)

    Eric S 33 min 21 sec ago view
  • in his last 11 innings, he has 21K, 6BB, 4 hits and one ER. Nice!

    billybucks 59 min 23 sec ago view
  • Yes!!!

    Thanks crunch!!

    It's mesmerizing

    jacos 5 hours 34 min ago view
  • 5 HR in his last 5 games (3, 1 run...1, 2 run)

    sure, 3 HR were in colorado, but 2 were in night games in SD. that evens out somehow.

    crunch 6 hours 23 min ago view
  • Good work!

    John Beasley 7 hours 56 min ago view
  • crunch 14 hours 34 min ago view
  • My guy Addy

    jacos 14 hours 34 min ago view
  • oh, another a.russell HR...whatever.

    crunch 14 hours 48 min ago view
  • Dylan Cease throwing gas tonight for the Emeralds. In first three innings, has hit 100 mph six times, averaging 98 mph

    Eric S 15 hours 7 min ago view
  • Can I get a gif of Joe West's jowls waving as he chews gum?

    /Asking for a friend

    jacos 15 hours 31 min ago view
  • my gawd...that castillo-to-bryant pickoff was a thing of beauty. the knock on him in the minors being slow out of the crouch is looking less like a thing.

    crunch 15 hours 43 min ago view
  • bless your heart. *pinches cheeks*

    crunch 20 hours 39 min ago view
  • real shame I missed this week's episode of The Crunch Reporter.

    It's highly unusual.

    It does matter a little.

    It matters much less than you think.

     

     

    Rob G. 20 hours 42 min ago view
  • four winds field is awesome. it's crazy how minor league parks have "grown up" since the 80s/90s and that park was one of the late-80s models that showed a low-capacity ballpark could look like you're at something other than a highschool baseball game.

    crunch 21 hours 47 min ago view