Is Aaron Harang The Odd Man Out?


Aaron Harang? Or Ted Lilly? Or Chris Capuano? Which starter is going to be the odd man out? That’s been one of the big questions this spring for the Dodgers. The Dodgers currently have eight starting pitchers under contract, and only five spots available in the starting rotation. We’ve discussed this over here many times before. There is limited space available in the Dodger bullpen, but the Dodgers have discussed putting one of two of those guys in the bullpen to start the 2013 season. But which pitcher will get the axe?

Dodger’s manager Don Mattingly had this to say to Steve Dilbeck of the L.A. Times.

"“Aaron Harang doesn’t seem like the kind of guy that pitches out of the pen,” “To me he’s more of a guy that paints. He keeps you in the game. He’s just not that guy that’s going in and overpower you.”"

Now that quote kind of sounds like to me that Harang would be the odd man out. Or would he? Are we reading between the lines here? If Harang is not an option for the bullpen then you would think he is the odd man out. I have always thought that the Dodgers would eventually lean towards trading Harang, and kleeping Cappy, and Lilly. What do you think?

Aaron Harang-Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

All three pitchers are out of options, and are entering their final years of their contracts. We know that obviously Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, and Hyun-jin Ryu will make up the first three spots in the rotation.  Josh Beckett should get the fourth spot, which leaves the fifth spot up for grabs depending on the health of right hander Chad Billingsley. Right hander Harang, and Lefties Ted Lilly and Chris Capuano, will all be battling for a spot in the Dodger rotation throughout the spring. Which one will be traded?

Poor Bills is coming off a major injury, and his status for the 2013 season is still pretty unknown. Billingsley’s torn ligament in his right elbow still could need Tommy John surgery. The Dodgers are hoping that after some rest, some platelet injections, and an off-season throwing program will keep Billingsley’s elbow healthy for 2013. Bills looked shaky in his first outing of the spring, and we are all just keeping our fingers crossed that he will be ok once the season starts. The Big Show had a shaky first inning himself in wednesday’s spring debut, allowing four runs on five hits. But in his second inning, he looked much stronger, retiring the side on only nine pitches, in an eventual Dodger win. Although we know that spring outings don’t mean much of anything.

Will Billingsley’s elbow hold up this season? Only time can answer that question. The only real test will come during the regular season. Billingsley’s health still remains a big question mark, and his status will determine which of those three the Dodgers keep, and who gets sent to the bullpen.

Mattingly also went on to say this…..

"“Well, none of them have options. You can’t keep them anywhere. Once spring training is over and if they’re not on our roster, we don’t have any control anymore. So eight really turns to five.”"

Ahhhhh….I just love it when Mattingly states the obvious. Let’s see here….eight minus three equals five. Yep, that’s right. We all can count here. At some point a decision has to be made. Who do you think will be the odd man out? Aaron Harang? Ted Lilly? Or Chris Capuano? What do you guys think? Weigh in with your comment below, and let us know.