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Is Rich Harden an injury-prone player?

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Postby ActionHero » Sun Jun 04, 2006 11:23 am

I haven't been keeping up with stuff the last few weeks, so this may not be news to anybody but me -- Harden is slated to start today against the Twins. I thought he was going to have a rehab start in the minors, but he felt so good after his last stint that they're throwing him in right away (limited to 80 pitches).
Last edited by ActionHero on Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:24 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby duckbillgates » Sun Jun 04, 2006 6:24 pm

If memory serves me, two of three injuries that shelved Harden for any length were flukey, fielding-related issues, including this last one.
He also hasn't had a major injury involving his pitching arm, which makes Prior comparisons a little off-base.
As such, I think the perception that Harden is injury-prone is a little off-base, which serves to push down his value a bit, making him something of a bargain right now. Until he puts together a few dominant starts, at which point the price shoots up.
If you can convince the Harden owner that he is injury-prone, I think you might get a bargain.
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Postby chargerss24 » Mon Jun 05, 2006 12:19 pm

If you guys had Harden in a keeper league as I do, would you consider trading him since he's injury prone? :-?
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Postby mikhayl » Mon Jun 05, 2006 12:52 pm

duckbillgates wrote:If memory serves me, two of three injuries that shelved Harden for any length were flukey, fielding-related issues, including this last one.
He also hasn't had a major injury involving his pitching arm, which makes Prior comparisons a little off-base.


Yup. Strained oblique last season and a strained back this season. His elbow and shoulder are holding up fine even though he's throwing 95+ and a nasty biting slider.

For god sake, do some damn pilates or something to build some core strength.
Let's go O's. Let's go Mets.
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Postby duckbillgates » Mon Jun 05, 2006 2:18 pm

mikhayl wrote:
duckbillgates wrote:If memory serves me, two of three injuries that shelved Harden for any length were flukey, fielding-related issues, including this last one.
He also hasn't had a major injury involving his pitching arm, which makes Prior comparisons a little off-base.


Yup. Strained oblique last season and a strained back this season. His elbow and shoulder are holding up fine even though he's throwing 95+ and a nasty biting slider.

For god sake, do some damn pilates or something to build some core strength.


You reminded me of another plus on Harden. Scouts are amazed at how effortless his motion is, even as he's reaching the mid- to high-90s. He threw the most pitches in baseball that topped 100 mph in 2004, yet he still hasn't had any problems with that precious arm.

The third injury I was thinking of was the surgery to his non-throwing arm, again, not related to his hurling which is good.

I'll put it this way. In the long-standing money keeper league I'm in, I'm always fending off trade offers for Harden from two of the smartest managers in the league (both sports writers, both finishing near the top year in and year out). I haven't bitten.

The time he misses is frustrating, and he is riskier than some. But the "injury-prone" label seems to miss the point to me.
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Postby mikhayl » Mon Jun 05, 2006 2:42 pm

duckbillgates wrote:You reminded me of another plus on Harden. Scouts are amazed at how effortless his motion is, even as he's reaching the mid- to high-90s. He threw the most pitches in baseball that topped 100 mph in 2004, yet he still hasn't had any problems with that precious arm.

The third injury I was thinking of was the surgery to his non-throwing arm, again, not related to his hurling which is good.

I'll put it this way. In the long-standing money keeper league I'm in, I'm always fending off trade offers for Harden from two of the smartest managers in the league (both sports writers, both finishing near the top year in and year out). I haven't bitten.

The time he misses is frustrating, and he is riskier than some. But the "injury-prone" label seems to miss the point to me.


Another point worth making is that 3 of Harden's 4 pitches (fastball, split finger fastball, and change) do not put undue strain on his throwing arm. His one breaking pitch is the slider, and when it's not working for him, he abandons it.

He's still one of the top pitchers in the AL when he's throwing only the fastball and the change, and that is worth a lot.

Harden is a very different situation than someone like Ben Sheets who has just two pitches (fastball and the overhand curve). Sheets' breaking pitch is his go to pitch and it looks like it's taking a hell of a toll on his shoulder.
Let's go O's. Let's go Mets.
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Postby u_fig_eater » Mon Jun 05, 2006 3:09 pm

I saw Harden against the M's this year and all I can say is that he's a freak of nature.
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