If you have not already done so, it is well past time to let go of Dan Haren. I have been one of the biggest Dan Haren fans for some time. He encompasses all I like to see from a pitcher, or at least he did when he was good and healthy. He is extremely athletic, he hardly ever walks batters, he gets a good deal of strikeouts without having dominant stuff, and he had a large amount of success in both leagues.
Time has not been a friend of Haren and the Nationals are not the only team suffering from Haren’s struggles, you are as well if you have stuck with him this whole time. Yes the strikeout rate is still pretty solid and the walk rate is still tremendous, but Haren just does not have the ability to keep the ball on the ground any longer like he once did. Combine that fact with his robust 16% HR/FB ratio and he is too homer prone for any fantasy roster at this point. If there is some owner in your league who looks at his K/BB ratio and finds a ton of value in it, pawn him off to that owner and get him off your books. If not, it is time to cut him loose and look for a higher quality starter.
As is, he is owned in 63% of Yahoo! leagues which is just far too many midway through June with the type of performance Haren has had this year and the struggles he faced last year. What is frustrating about Haren’s season is that his velocity is back up and he seems to be healthy but it seems that his lack of a quality breaking ball is causing him serious issues. He essentially is only throwing fastball variations with a very, very rare (3.8%) curveball. While the fastballs differ in velocity, the biggest difference on his four variations is 89.5 to 84.9, which is not too very vast. So, you can expect that on over 95% of the pitches you are getting from Haren that you will see a pitch between 85-90 mph, which is probably why hitters are able to tee up and blast homers off of him left and right.
It is time to stop looking in the past and start focusing on the present. Maybe he does get slightly better at limiting home runs, but the likelihood of him improving decreases with each and every start. He has been a replacement level player this season with a dead even 0 WAR and has been just a 1.8 win player in his past 240 innings. That is a far cry from the six wins he was producing on an almost annual basis a few years back. There is a chance cutting him loose ends up being a regrettable move, but there is a bigger chance that holding onto him hurts your odds at winning your league this season.
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