Breaking down 2010 Dan Haren

Some fans are less than enthused about the prospect of landing Dan Haren. They look at his 7-8 Win-Loss record and 4.60 ERA this season and think he’s having a bad year. Nothing could be further from the truth. He’s a good pitcher on a bad team with a horrendous bullpen, one that’s so bad it’s a Run and a half worse than anyone else in the sport. The bullpen alone can affect his W-L and inflate a pitcher’s ERA by allowing so many inherited runners to score. A better way to analyze a pitcher is to look at the numbers he can control. Dan Haren leads the NL with 141 Strikeouts (9.0/9 IP) and has outstanding Walk rate at 1.9/9 IP. He’s given up too many HRs (23) this year, but I think that’s a function of him just trying too hard. Check out his Pitch FX velocity numbers:

Season FA-Vel SL-Vel CU-Vel CH-Vel FC-Vel FS-Vel FT-Vel IN-Vel PO-Vel UN-Vel Pitches
2007 91.8 83.6 81.7 84.1 88.5 85.6 89.9 78.7 87.2 42.6 2628
2007 91.7 84.0 76.9 82.4 88.3 85.4 89.1 71.7 84.2 45.6 – – –
2008 91.1 83.9 80.3 84.9 88.4 85.7 90.5 74.9 84.8 3122
2008 91.5 83.9 76.7 82.5 88.2 84.9 89.3 71.2 83.9 50.6 – – –
2009 90.6 84.9 78.0 84.9 87.2 89.6 70.9 84.5 3438
2009 91.9 83.9 77.3 82.8 89.1 86.7 90.3 71.3 84.7 52.3 – – –
2010 90.4 85.5 78.9 85.2 86.2 85.4 90.5 69.7 85.0 2204

(NOTE-Numbers not in bold are seasonal averages)

His Fastball is down a shade, but that’s a rounding error. It could also simply be a function of comparing mid season numbers to full season, and as we all know pitchers tend to build up arm strength and add velocity as the season progresses. But here’s what I found really interesting. His Slider, Cutter and Change are all UP this year. He’s throwing his secondary pitches harder? Classic case of someone who’s trying to do too much. Look at his horizontal and vertical charts as well. Less up and down movement (depth) on his Slider and Cutter, less side to side movement on his Change. He’s overthrowing.  That explains his HR numbers being up, a Slider with no bite might as well be put on a tee for most MLB hitters.

Dan Haren is still just 29 years old. He’s been healthy throughout his career, pitching 200+ innings and making 33-34 starts every full season he’s been in the bigs. He was great in 2009, posting a 6.0 WAR and finishing 5th in NL CY Young award voting. Dan Haren is simply on a bad team with a bad bullpen. You can’t blame him for trying to do everything himself, especially as the Ace of the staff. He won’t be asked to carry the Yanks with CC as the #1 and Andy, Javy and AJ in the fold. He can simply go about his business and the results should follow.

Make no mistake, Arizona is having a fire sale. You couldn’t touch Dan Haren last year, so when a pitcher of his caliber becomes available you have to seize the opportunity. Even a package that includes Joba Chamberlain will be buying low unless he reaches his full potential as a Starter or Closer, and right now he looks lost out there. I’ll trade potential for a finished product any day of the week. If the deal is Nova/McAllister and we take back one of their overpriced relievers, then it’s an absolute steal in terms of talent. I’ll let Cash and Hal worry about the budget. But if the deal includes Joba, Mo can drive and I’ll pay the tolls.

0 thoughts on “Breaking down 2010 Dan Haren

  1. Steve: you know I’m a big Joba guy as well, but if Moshe is driving and you’re paying tolls, I wanna ride shotgun or be the navigator.

  2. I like Oswalt much better. I want the Yankees to get a finisher and not a fader. Haren is a first half of the season star pitcher who pitches much worse as the season goes on where as Oswalt is the opposite.

    • Who’s also way more expensive. He wants his $16MM option guaranteed. No thanks.

      • Even with the expensive option, Oswalt is the better pitcher. When you compare them Oswalt is so much better career wise in August and September with an under 3 ERA for those months. I want someone I can count on more as the season gets longer and that is clearly Oswalt. The money difference is negligible as Haren has a 3.5 million buyout.

        • very true push came to shove oswalt is a no brainer..and would want to pick up the option if we gave talent..we would just have to pass on lee …but i would not trade for any starting pitcher. either we get a real dominate guy or pass.these middle of the road guys are not worth the gamble..he pitches in a very soft division and league..american league east..and texas in the playoffs.. no way haren

  3. Haren would fit well and he has a reasonable contract. The question, as always, is about the price. Because the Yankees now have some very promising starters at high A or AA, Joba becomes more expendable. With Haren in the fold for 2-3 years at least, the organization has time to develop some other middle to front-end starters (Betances, Brackman, Banuelos, Noesi), which is an optimisitc read on chamberlain’s ceiling. This year, Hughes would transition back to the 8th inning when Pettitte returns. Joba will do better in a new setting with lower expectations, so it should turn out to be the best kind of deal, a win-win trade. But if Arizona expects top prospects and the Yankees to assuem the full contract, I doubt the Yankees will bite. That isn’t how deals get made these days.

    • I think the Yanks are assessing the market correctly. Arizona HAS to get rid of his contract, and very few teams will have the stomach to take on that much salary. It’s much more cost efficient to hold onto your young pitchers an use them yourself. The Cards don’t have a big need with Carpenter and Wainright. The Tigers are in a city that is one of the most heavily impacted by the recession. The Twins have a need but rarely spend big and that kind of commitment will force them to lower their offer. The Phillies are already at the top of the NL in payroll and barely in the NL East race at 6 games back, plus their biggest problem has been offense.

      I’d play this one exactly the same. Sit back and wait for the D-Backs to come back to you. I’ll still throw in Joba at the last minute, but I don’t do it a second before then.

    • Betances and Brackman have front-end talent but are still wildcards. We’ll see about ManBan, the velo is improving and he has a lot of polish for a kid but you can’t count on anything from a pitcher who hasn’t hit Trenton yet. There is this notion that we can’t develop young pitchers. What is to stop us from sticking Chamberlain down at SWB for three or four months the way the Sox did with Buchholz? Give him a chance to start consistently, where nobody is calling for his head if he has a bad outing. Let him get his head and his mechanics right and then see where he’s at. What do we lose in the transaction? An always-an-adventure eighth inning guy whose body of work this year is, at best, average. Or deal him and watch him turn into something approaching the pitcher we thought he would be.

  4. Just an FYI, I believe the horizontal movement data is across the board down this year. Somethings different about the algorithm. Good points, though, Haren is the man.

  5. I’m not a big fan of Haren. I view him more of 4th starter and NL player even though he played for A’s (rangers werent the rangers when he played for the A’s and i wouldnt classified the angels as having a high powering offense.)

    if he played here or AL east, his era would be high 4 over his career. we would trash him like we did with Vazquez. Plus i view vazquez as a better pitcher than haren. haren to me is better version of arroyo, solid 200+ inning.

    If we can get him w/o trading montero, joba, and sanchez, then cashman should go after him.

    People are giving up on joba, but i’m not. Joba can still be a great #1 or #2 starting pitcher. joba just need to pitch every five days to build consistency with his fastball speed. joba is not closer because i dont think he has mental makeup to replace mo. if i remember correctly, when he played in the future game, a bird was near him and he give up a hit. after that he scared off the bird. also remember indians playoff game with the bugs, the batter wasnt overly bother with the pest when joba gave him a hit.

    • Maybe Joba can be a top flight starter, but it’s not going to happen with the Yankees. Billy Eppler made that clear this spring. People need to give up the ghost already.

  6. The problem with Dan Haren is that each year dating back to 2006 his second half stats are worse than his first half stats, which may indicate that he tires out as the year goes by which wouldn’t help us in the postseason.

    • That’s interesting, and thanks to you (and Rooster) for pointing that out. I’ll check into it further.

  7. I think some people are underrating Haren. Depending on what else they need to get it done, I think it’s a good trade. Frontline pitchers don’t grow on trees.

    • Yeah, I’m going to address their concerns in a specific post if/when the Yanks land him.

  8. I have to give credit to the Yankees. They have really good trade pieces and a possible Haren team makes a dangerous team even more fearful.

  9. I have to give credit to the Yankees. They have really good trade pieces and a possible Haren trade makes a dangerous team even more fearful.  (Quote)

  10. What a great idea…give up loads of young talent for a second half flopper who throws 90…I swear to god, the Yanks front office will never change. Instead of just throwing Z-Mac or Nova instead of that garbage bum Mitre, they panic and give away 3 young kids with loads of potential.
    You guys still don’t believe Joba can be a great starter or possible future closer? Look, I remember Joba Chamberlain outdueling Josh Beckett at FENWAY a few years ago, and that wasn’t luck. This organization needs some patience, or at least some rational thought instead of panic.
    Stop being stupid, get rid of Mitre and put Nova out there for f**k sake. Godddddddd!!!!