Originally posted at ProFantasyBaseball By Brett Barton
Former ace Rich Harden is back to starting games again. The other night he pitched very well with a stat line of getting the Win with 6IP, 2ER, and 6Ks without giving up a walk against the D-Backs. Compared that to last season’s miserable numbers of a 5.58 ERA and 75/62 K/BB ratio over 92 innings with the Rangers and he looks like he may be back to his old dominate self. The problem with Harden is of course the injuries. He also has lost a couple of MPHs on his fastball, he is a SP who relies on changing speeds and when the fastball and changeup start getting closer in speed the Harden riddle has been figured out by the league.
In his 9 year career Harden has made 146 starts which averages out to only 16 starts a year. Therefore it can be said he has actually missed as many starts as he has made. The DL stints prove this 3x in 05’ 2x in 06’ almost the entire year in 07’ 1x in 08’ 1x in 10’ and of course this year. The total is 10x over a 9 year career. These injuries include back, arm, shoulder, oblique, lat and a combination off all.
The question now is what can he give the Fantasy community? The answer is; a former ace worth giving a shot on your roster. I personally have picked him up in a couple of leagues. With the shrewdness of the A’s front office he will be showcased a couple of more times then be traded to a contender down the stretch. That means he will be playing for a winning team with a good offense putting up Runs for him. I see a great source of Wins and Ks from this supposedly washed up 29 year old. Currently he is available in 90% of leagues but it will change quickly after another quality start. So ride the horse until he completely breaks down or pick him up and trade him yourself for someone a little more durable.