Washington Nationals pitcher Dan Haren appears to be on his way to the disabled list with some sort of unspecific hip injury following his start yesterday. The news was first stated by GM Mike Rizzo, and then later echoed by manager Davey Johnson.
Haren has not had quite the success that the Nationals were hoping for this season after giving him $13 million for one year in the winter. It did not seem like Haren had a huge market after a so-so 2012 campaign in which he posted a 4.33 ERA, 142 strikeouts and 38 walks in 176 and 2/3 innings of work, but that fairly lucrative contract suggests the Nats saw him as a strong bounce back candidate for this season.
However, that has not at all been the case, as Haren currently holds a 6.15 ERA on the year, to go along with a career high 2.09 HR/9. Haren has continued to hit a hard decline, after finishing with a 6.2 WAR in 2011, just a year and a half ago.
According to MLB.com, “Pitching coach Steve McCatty said Sunday that Haren’s recent struggles are at least somewhat mechanical. He has noticed a difference in the right-hander’s arm slot and release. Instead of bringing his release straight down, Haren is finishing his pitches sideways, leaving the ball up in the strike zone and flattening his pitches.”
That sounds like something that should be able to be ironed out, especially with a veteran like Haren, and one with a very successful career at that. Hopefully for DC fans this DL stint ends up helping Haren turn things around, and start earning some of that $13 million he was given in the offseason.