FanGraphs Baseball

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  1. Harden’s numbers are up this year because of the move to the National League. If he were still in the “triple-AL” he’d be dominating.

    Comment by Wrighteous — July 27, 2009 @ 12:35 pm

  2. He does still throw the slider. I watched his recent start vs the Cubs and he threw about a dozen a sliders, mostly early in the count as “get me over” strikes. His changeup was outstanding as you said and his fastball has a ton of life up in the zone

    It’s going to be interesting to see what kind of FA deal he gets next year….he seems like a guy a team can talk itself into giving big money to, but will likely disappoint in the end

    Comment by AB — July 27, 2009 @ 12:50 pm

  3. *above should read vs Phils

    Comment by AB — July 27, 2009 @ 12:52 pm

  4. If you were a MLB GM (let’s say Hendry, or Coletti; NOT Minaya) what would you be willing to give Harden in a free agent deal? I’d have a hard time with anything beyond 2 years but he’ll probably get 3+.

    3yr/$24m? Looks conservative on today’s market.

    Comment by Ezra — July 27, 2009 @ 1:01 pm

  5. I think he’ll end up getting multi years at an eye opening amount from some team. 3-40 maybe?

    If an exec watched tape of that Phils start, they would see him absolutely overmatching a lineup at is at worst, 3rd best in the MLB…and a lineup that had been pretty hot going into/directly after that game

    He has age on his side too. I think teams will always gamble on the huge upside arm, especially if he can stay healthy and pitch well the rest of the year

    Comment by AB — July 27, 2009 @ 1:07 pm

  6. Sure looks like a slider, doesn’t it? But, IIRC, it’s actually thrown as a changeup with a changeup grip. Really saying that he only has two pitches is a bit misleading because he can throw the change with so many different types of movements – the “split-change”, the slidery one, in his last start he threw some that were more conventional changeups with less vertical movement. Really when he’s on Rich Harden is probably a top five pitcher in the game. Trouble is he’s injury-prone and a little inconsistent and struggles to throw strikes occasionally

    Comment by daniel — July 27, 2009 @ 1:52 pm

  7. What’s the “triple-AL”? It makes it sound like you’re saying that the American League is like AAA compared to the NL.

    Comment by Travis L — July 27, 2009 @ 2:12 pm

  8. What Harden and his agent could look at as well is to take a short offer in the hopes that the FA pitcher market is bare and the economy has rebounded by the time he becomes a FA again.

    Comment by Steve C — July 27, 2009 @ 2:27 pm

  9. “Among starters only Ted Lilly, Jonathan Sanchez, Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer have fastballs with a higher whiff rate.”

    Which one doesn’t belong?!?!? Ted Lilly? Interesting!

    Comment by Bot — July 27, 2009 @ 2:55 pm

  10. lol, exactly. that’s the beauty of it. the pun implies (correctly) that the talent leven in the american league is inferior.

    Comment by Wrighteous — July 27, 2009 @ 3:08 pm

  11. Are you misinformed, joking, or trolling? Because the average NL player is not as good as the average AL player, and pitchers in the NL have it especially good because the starters get throw to a pitcher one batter in 9.

    Comment by Fresh Hops — July 27, 2009 @ 3:36 pm

  12. what?

    Comment by Wrighteous — July 27, 2009 @ 3:38 pm

  13. Or he could have so many injuries that this is his only chance to really cash in. Even if he takes a 3-4 year deal, he’s young enough that — if his health permits — he can have another bite of the apple.

    Comment by joser — July 27, 2009 @ 5:13 pm

  14. It’s easier to be a pitcher in the NL. Given two pitchers with identical stats, one in the NL and one in the AL, the one in the AL is the better pitcher. Thus if Harden was back in the AL he’d probably be doing slightly worse (that’s especially true for a pitcher who depends so little on the defense behind him or the park around him).

    Comment by joser — July 27, 2009 @ 5:16 pm

  15. Obviously the NL is superior, why else would they dominate the AL in interleague play year after year?

    Wait…..what?

    Comment by Kyle — July 27, 2009 @ 5:16 pm

  16. Wrighteous doesn’t just deny global warming; he believes in global COOLING…

    Comment by nick — July 27, 2009 @ 8:51 pm

  17. I suspect he believes in global trolling and should be ignored.

    Comment by Fresh Hops — July 27, 2009 @ 11:50 pm

  18. Dave – Just what do you mean by ‘rise?’ I trust “rise” is not to be taken literally; so, help me out with “ten inch ‘rise.’”
    Thanks.

    Comment by jackdunn'sbaby — July 28, 2009 @ 12:01 pm

  19. Suppose you threw a ball in a vacuum, it would sink 32ft/second-squared from gravity. If you throw it in the air, frictional forces and spin can make the ball deviate from the trajectory it would take in a vacuum. “Rise” means that it sinks 10″ less than it would in a vacuum. Of course, the actually altitude of the ball from mound to plate decreases.

    Comment by Fresh Hops — July 28, 2009 @ 12:48 pm

  20. Yeah, I noticed the same thing. His fastball isn’t all that fast, and it doesn’t appear to have much movement at all (I can’t find numbers on this). I think it has to do with context. He often sets up hitters with his breaking stuff and then throws the fastball with two strikes. I don’t have numbers on it, but he seems to get a lot of strikeouts, both looking and called, with the fastball.

    Comment by Al — July 28, 2009 @ 1:18 pm

  21. When on his game and injury free, Rich Harden is the most talented pitcher in baseball. Unfortunately, you can’t ignore how fragile he is. A healthy injury-free career from Rich Harden would have been an amazing thing to have been able to watch.

    Comment by Rafa — August 3, 2009 @ 1:49 am

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