Addressing the Haren complaints

I must admit I’ve been surprised at some of the push back among fans who don’t want the Yanks to make a deal for Dan Haren for a variety of reasons. So I wanted to go through some of the most common complaints I’ve heard, and see if they have any merit. Here they are-

-“He’s having a bad season”

No, he’s not. We went over this yesterday.

-“He’s a 1st half pitcher”

This argument has merit. Here’s the numbers:

I      Split   G   PA   AB   R   H  2B 3B HR SB CS  BB  SO SO/BB   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS   TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB ROE BAbip tOPS+
    1st Half 117 3187 2959 323 695 143 13 84 60 16 166 664  4.00 .235 .279 .377 .657 1116  50  24 20 18  13  38  .274    86
    2nd Half 100 2487 2310 293 641 130 19 79 36 15 133 512  3.85 .277 .319 .453 .772 1046  48  15 17 12  11  19  .325   118
I      Split  W  L W-L%  ERA   G  GS GF CG SHO SV    IP   H   R  ER HR  BB IBB  SO HBP BK WP   BF  WHIP SO/9 SO/BB
    1st Half 47 37 .560 3.29 117 117  0  7   1  0 781.1 695 323 286 84 166  13 664  24  1 35 3187 1.102  7.6  4.00
    2nd Half 39 33 .542 4.27 100  91  2  3   1  0 586.1 641 293 278 79 133  11 512  15  0 27 2487 1.320  7.9  3.85

The numbers are indisputable, he hasn’t been nearly as sharp in the 2nd half of most seasons. Clearly, he gets hit harder. His BABIP goes up 51 points, OPS against rises by .115. Overall, his ERA has gone up anywhere from 1.5-2 Runs every year after the All Star break since 2005 which ironically was his first full season in the bigs. But I have to think that wearing down over the course of a season comes down to getting enough rest and proper conditioning, which are things you can generally deal with. While it may be an issue this year, I wouldn’t let that stop me from acquiring a pitcher of his caliber, one that you’d control until 2013.

-“He can’t perform in the AL East”

Yankee Stadium

            2006 2 0 1.000 1.23 2  2  0  1   0  0 14.2 13 2  2  1  0   0 11   2     0 57 0.886        6.8
            2007 1 0 1.000 8.44 1  1  0  0   0  0  5.1  8 5  5  0  2   0  5   1     0 27 1.875  8.4  2.50
    Career Total 3 0 1.000 3.15 3  3  0  1   0  0 20.0 21 7  7  1  2   0 16   3     0 84 1.150  7.2  8.00

Rogers Center

            2005 0       0 6.00 1  1  0  0   0  0  6.0  8  4  4  0  1   0  6   0     0  26 1.500  9.0  6.00
            2006 2 0 1.000 8.31 2  2  0  0   0  0 13.0 17 12 12  3  4   0 11   0     0  59 1.615  7.6  2.75
            2007 1 0 1.000 6.00 1  1  0  0   0  0  6.0  6  4  4  3  0   0  9   0     0  24 1.000       13.5
    Career Total 3 0 1.000 7.20 4  4  0  0   0  0 25.0 31 20 20  6  5   0 26   0     0 109 1.440  9.4  5.20

Fenway Park

            2005 0 2  .000 2.53 2  2  0  0   0  0 10.2 11  8  3  1  5   0 10   1     0  47 1.500  8.4  2.00
            2006 0 1  .000 9.00 1  1  0  0   0  0  5.0  9  5  5  0  1   0  3   1     0  26 2.000  5.4  3.00
            2008 1 0 1.000 0.00 1  1  0  0   0  0  7.0  2  0  0  0  1   0  5   1     0  25 0.429  6.4  5.00
            2010 0 1  .000 6.35 1  1  0  0   0  0  5.2  7  6  4  1  3   1  4   1     0  28 1.765  6.4  1.33
    Career Total 1 4  .200 3.81 5  5  0  0   0  0 28.1 29 19 12  2 10   1 22   4     0 126 1.376  7.0  2.20

Tropicana Field

            2005 0 1  .000 2.57 1  1  0  0   0  0  7.0  4  2  2  0  0   0  4   0     0  24 0.571        5.1
            2006 1 0 1.000 6.00 1  1  0  0   0  0  6.0 10  6  4  2  0   0  2   0     0  28 1.667        3.0
            2007 0 1  .000 3.46 2  2  0  0   0  0 13.0  8  7  5  3  0   0 19   0     0  49 0.615       13.2
    Career Total 1 2  .333 3.81 4  4  0  0   0  0 26.0 22 15 11  5  0   0 25   0     0 101 0.846        8.7

Camden Yards

            2005 1 0 1.000 2.08 2  2  0  0   0  0 13.0  6 3  3  3  4   0  9   2     0  50 0.769  6.2  2.25
            2007 2 0 1.000 1.29 2  2  0  0   0  0 14.0  7 2  2  1  2   0  8   1     0  50 0.643  5.1  4.00
    Career Total 3 0 1.000 1.67 4  4  0  0   0  0 27.0 13 5  5  4  6   0 17   3     0 100 0.704  5.7  2.83

AL East Totals

W-11 L-6 ERA-3.92 GS-20 IP-126.1 H-116 HR-18 BB-23 SO-106 WHIP-1.10

The ERA is a shade higher (3.71 career) which is to be expected facing better teams. But more importantly, the rate stats don’t change. That is the same pitcher he’s been everywhere else in his career, including the ‘AAAA’ NL West. Nothing to this one whatsoever.

-“We don’t need him, the rotation is fine”

The rotation isn’t broken, but the bullpen is definitely a concern. You slot Haren into the rotation and put Hughes in the 8th inning once Andy comes back. That keeps Phil’s innings down and fixes the bridge to Mo for the remainder of this season and the playoffs. One deal fixes two problems, that’s the same thing that would have happened if they would have got Cliff Lee.

Note-The fact that the Yanks have been in on TWO starters this year should tell you something about how they feel about Joba. They clearly don’t trust him if they want another starter this badly, and that’s why any idea that he’s “off-limits” is just nonsense. They’ll try to keep him if they can (like any other asset) but push comes to shove and I’ll bet he’s in a deal.

-“I don’t want to give up Joba, I still think he can be a top-flight starter”

People need to give up the ghost already. Maybe Joba can be a top flight starter, but it’s not going to happen with the Yankees. Billy Eppler made that abundantly clear this spring. The Yanks aren’t the type of organization that can wait forever and let a young pitchers take his lumps indefinitely. They’re always in win-now mode, and the fact of the matter is they’ve given him the past two seasons to produce, and he hasn’t (for whatever reason). Joba also looks like he’s lost a lot of confidence in his stuff out there. A change of scenery could benefit all parties, and even if Joba regains his 07-08 form don’t assume it would have ever happened here.

0 thoughts on “Addressing the Haren complaints

  1. First, I’ve been arguing that they should have dealt Joba since this offseason. I was saying they should move him for Nelson Cruz, but obviously that ship has sailed. I don’t like to give up on young kids, but I think this is a move you have to make. If Joba figures it out, he might be able to become Dan Haren. People don’t see the strikeout numbers Haren has, as well as the ridiculously low walk rate. You can’t deal for a guy like Haren and not give up something that hurts. And if Haren was having a typical Haren year, you wouldn’t be able to get him for less then Montero. Period. Although the first half pitcher issue is real, I think it’s blown out of proportion a bit due to fantasy baseball. Everyone says, “Trade him before he starts pitching, he’s going to be a disaster.” The people then think, “Yeah, he sucks.” Not true.

    Haren isn’t having a bad year, but he’s not having a typical Haren season. He’s just giving up more HR balls then usual. I realize this is his bugaboo, but I still think he’s a dependable innings eater that is one of the top pitchers in the game. If Cashman can make this deal and keep Montero, Romaine, Brackman, Slade, etc… you have to jump on it.

  2. i dont like the idea of giving away assets for top-flight starter when we only need a 5th starter. the assets can be use better in the offseason or next year when we might need to bring in a big name.

  3. I’ll disagree on Joba. As I said, I’d drive him to Zona if he’s the main piece in thistrade, but it was clear when Epler made those comments that there is dissension between Cashman and other members of the hierarchy. If Joba causes thistrade to die, I think that would suggest Cash still has hope for Joba the starter.

  4. No disrespect but that isn’t quite the entire story wrt what Eppler said about Joba in the spring. After Eppler made his original statement, Cashman refuted and Eppler subsequently clarified.. Consider this from the Daily News March 29, 2010

    TAMPA – Apparently, fans and talk-show hosts aren’t the only ones with differing opinions about Joba Chamberlain.

    While Brian Cashman continues to refer to Chamberlain as “a starter that can relieve,” the general manager’s top lieutenant said Saturday that he doesn’t believe Chamberlain will compete for a spot in the starting rotation next year.

    “I wouldn’t consider that likely,” Billy Eppler, the Yankees’ pro scouting director, said in an interview on WFAN.

    Eppler’s words sparked the latest round of Chamberlain buzz, forcing Cashman to address the situation yet again. Cashman didn’t dismiss Eppler’s opinion as invalid, saying only that it was precisely that – his opinion – and not a decision made by the organization. “We didn’t have any team meeting where we said he’s a reliever for the rest of his life,” Cashman said. “That’s never been discussed.”

    Eppler clarified his comments Sunday, telling the Daily News that he was simply giving his own take on Chamberlain’s situation and not any organizational verdict on the pitcher’s future.

    “We haven’t sat down and looked at 2011, 2012 or 2013,” Eppler said. “If you do that, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment when you’re writing the depth chart down for what the 2011 Yankees look like. I don’t think you can do that and bring an honest perspective. I just gave an honest answer, basically.”

    Of course that was before this seaon’s body of work which goes to the point that these assessments are fluid depending on a number of factors, including personal performance and the composition of the rest of the pitching staff. I do agree that a change of scenery might be in order at this time allowing him to finally develop in a less pressurized environment with fewer distractions(temptations), without every move on and off the field being micro analyzed.

    Turning to Haren, his numbers this year are skewed by a high HR rate and a BABIP which is also very high.Is this the beginning of a slide which places him as an inning -eating middle of the rotation type for the next 2-3 years or a random aberration which from the near elite starter he’s been in the past? Based on his K rates I would think his stuff is probably still there but this is something best determined by scouts who have seen him pitch multiple times this year.A point in Haren’s favor is that it is possible that his interest level may be not what was previously due to Arizona’s low position the standings for the second straight year. One would expect renewed focus if he came to New York.As Jay posted above, a package of Triple A pitchers who don’t project at the top of the rotation and some inventory below is a relatively cheap price to pay for someone with his history.

    One final point which must be considered is how this would effect a potential acquisition of Cliff Lee both in terms of the budget and available rotation spots for 2011 and beyond.Joel Sherman does a nice job laying out the numbers and possibilities in today’s NY Post.

  5. Pingback: Dan Haren and the three bears | River Avenue Blues

  6. It is a common tendency for people to overvalue their own assets, and not just in baseball. If Cashman sets such store in Joba, then he is in good company. But even if Joba were to develop to become, say, a #2 starter (the best-case scenario, and very over-optimistic in my view), it would take several years, while this Yankee team is build very much to win now.

    Haren would not be coming in as a number 5 starter, but as one expected to provide high-quality innings against tough oppositon in the play-offs. This is clearly a move that would be made with the post-season in mind. In addition, going forward, there are questions about the rotation enxt year, if Vazquez leaves and Pettitte retires. Even if Pettitte doesn’t retire, his age alone suggests that it would be wise to count less on him. AJ will never be more than a #4 starter on a good team. Haren woudl have a role to play for the next two years, too. I am not urging a deal at any price, but one that includes Joba makes sense for both teams.

  7. If the Yankees still see Joba as a starter, that’s fine, but I don’t know how he fits in their plans. How is he going to be fixed as a starter without going down to the minors? Even if they did that, which they won’t, there’s no room in the rotation for him next year……..unless Phil really struggles.

  8. I agree that Haren would be a great pick-up and I would trade Joba for him.

    I also have 100% confidence in Brian Cashman and ther Yankee Brain Trust. If they can make the right deal, they will. I think they’d trade Job at this point too, but they can’t say that. If they don’t make the deal, Arizona was asking too much.

    I think there is one more Yankee concern not discussed in this post – salary. An article in Sunday’s NY Post indicates that unless other cost saving measures take place, getting Haren could prevent the Yankees from getting Cliff Lee because they wouldn’t be able to pay for both. If the cloise is Haren 2010 (and beyond) or Lee 2011 (and beyond), I’d vote for Lee.

    All this being said, again, I believe Cashman to be a brilliant GM who knows more than any of us – speculating is fun – but if it happens or doesn’t happen – I’ll trust the Yankee decision making.

  9. This is ridiculous. First is it just me or are we the best record in baseball. I like Haren and I know he is a good pitcher, but he’s sort of an unknown. Is too big of a gamble for someone like him. We just won the freaking WS I don’t see any team out there that we can’t beat with ours. So why give up talent and pick up another big contractbwhen the outcome could be the same? You guys overreact to much and want us to win 28 without any trouble at all, I prefer to be like last year that they had to earn it and peform to a high level to win it all. Some said that this team is build to win now, we are always built to win now what are u talking about? I can’t see the yankees with a roster full of young player trying to develope them I doubt we will see that anytime soon.

    No to Haren unless is a complete steal. No A prospect that is.

  10. Well it doesn’t matter now because Haren is headed for the Angels for Joe Saunders and all because the Yankees wouldn’t give up 2 sinker ball pitchers who are best number 3 and most likely number 4 or 5 starters and a reliever who has a 9+ ERA in his last 29 appearances.

    The way this team is constituted right now we are a good team and a really good regular season team but I don’t believe in our chances of winning it all with Joba having to have any real role on the team.

    Looks like the team won’t look that much different if at all come playoff time now… I’m not into trading for a 33 year Roy Oswalt (and living in Houston I’ve seen more than enough of him to not want him on the Yankees) and Soria was always a pipe dream and short of giving up Montero there is no player available we could pull out of a hat.

  11. Joba has as good stuff as Harden he just doesn’t control it yet. Don’t give me that b.s. that because he hasn’t done it yet doesn’t drop a prospect grade. Joba could get it together and be a #1 starter or ki

  12. Joba has as good stuff as Harden he just doesn’t control it yet. Don’t give me that b.s. that because he hasn’t done it yet doesn’t drop a prospect grade. Joba could get it together and be a #1 starter or ki  

    When we drafted Joba do you know what the scouting report on him was? No one was grading him out to be an “Ace” all that came out of the 2007 hype he got from pitching out of the bullpen… When he came out of Nebraska and the Yankees selected him he was pegged “as the next Sydney Ponson”.

    No scouts projected Joba as a number 1 type pitcher coming out of college that is all New York media and fan hype.

    Everyone acts like Joba was regarded as Roy Halladay and now fans are turning on him but in actuality Joba was a pretty decent pitcher who everyone over hyped to the point of being the next Doc Gooden.

    It’s way more than him “just not controlling his stuff” Joba is a 2 pitch pitcher who barely bothers with his curveball and doesn’t know what a changeup looks like and ever since his confidence has taken a dive he has scared himself out of the strike-zone and it showed up last year as a starter and this year as a reliever.

    I really don’t believe Joba will ever be an ace anymore and if ever does become an ace it won’t be for the Yankees they have already shown him the door to the bullpen and that is where he will stay with the team for as long as he is on it.

    As far as the “he has as good a stuff as Harden” yes he does throw a fastball harder than Harden does in the rotation but having only 2 pitches doesn’t really compare to Harden’s repertoire when you consider he throws a 4 seamer, cutter, slider, curve and his best pitch is his splitter. 5 to 2 in the amount of weapons they have is a huge difference and at this point Joba’s slider isn’t as sharp as it once was and because of that batters are spitting on it.

  13. Sorry, miscommunication. I think he was more highly regarded than Ponson, but yes, he wasnt a mega prospect until a year in the system. You are right on that.  

    Actually the scouting reports were that he was “the next Ponson” I remember because the reasons behind it were the fact that he was on the hefty side and he had a “poor work ethic”. I can look and see if I can find those reports if you would like.

  14. Sorry, miscommunication. I think he was more highly regarded than Ponson, but yes, he wasnt a mega prospect until a year in the system. You are right on that.  

    Moshe do you see anyway the Yankees just send Chamberlain down to triple A? Once again I think a mix of pride and winning will prevent this but if Robertson is going to take over the 8th inning role (and after another terrible performance by Joba that has to be coming) how much confidence can he regain pitching in blowouts one way or the other?

    For the life of me I can’t figure out why Joba doesn’t throw a changeup out of the pen he isn’t a starter sure but dropping a change would really speed up his fastball getting to the plate in the batters mind and at least throw another wrinkle into the mix that they have to be aware of instead of simply spitting on a slider and looking fastball in the zone. I believe he has to be sent down to the minors to have the time to work on this pitch in games but as a reliever or starter I think this is a vital pitch for Joba’s career.