Aaron Harang starting on short rest probably seems like a bad idea because it is

Aaron Harang will likely start Sunday’s game against the Reds on short rest, according to Don Mattingly.

It could be bad.

That leaves Sunday’s slot open, and one day after saying right-hander John Ely — who has made only two appearances in the Major Leagues this season, both in relief — could start, Mattingly said right-hander Aaron Harang likely will go on short rest. Harang tossed 4 1/3 innings while taking the loss in the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader with the Nats.

“I talked to him today about it,” Mattingly said. “He feels good. His work will be kind of on that schedule.”

Harang hasn’t thrown on three days rest since May 29 of 2008.

If that date sounds familiar, it’s because it was the start immediately after Dusty Baker made him relieve for four innings in an extra innings game on two days rest. After which he missed a month of time with a forearm injury and had a 9.06 ERA in the 10 starts following that. Since then, he has never been the same.

I’m not saying it was Baker’s fault … I’m just saying. Oh wait, I don’t have to, because Harang already did:

“What it did,” said Harang, “is fatigue me beyond the point of recovery. I started to change my arm angle to compensate for the fatigue and that’s when my forearm started to bother me.”

I’m not saying the situations are directly comparable, but it’s pushing the envelope a bit considering that he’s now a lot older and a lot crappier. That’s especially true considering he’s still owed at least $9 million for next year. Also, for the record, Harang has a 5.50 ERA in three career starts on three days rest, most of which came back when he was good.

I suppose the only good that could come out of this is that they aren’t going to risk throwing Clayton Kershaw back in the mix immediately just for the hell of it.

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