Scouting The Starters

Aaron Harang’s winless streak continued for the Reds on Saturday against the Brewers. After he cruised through three hitless innings, he gave up four runs to the Brewers. That inning was the difference in a 4-1 loss. Harang now hasn’t won a game since May 25, a string of 11 starts. Over that time, he has gone 0-6. Harang will look to break his drought against the Cubs. He earned his second win of the season against them on April 21 in a 7-1 win. He gave up no earned runs in the start. (MLB.com)

He uses his size to his advantage and is fairly durable, able to pitch effectively beyond the fifth inning. Can strike batters out with aplomb. Has trouble getting ahead in the count and struggles against right-handed hitters. Injuries are also a concern moving forward. A good mid-rotation right-hander. (TSN.ca)

Harang’s Pitch Usage

Randy Wells – Early in the season, Wells couldn’t get a win, despite pitching well. Now, he’s won five of his last six starts, and in his last outing, got the “W” despite what he called an ugly outing. Against the Nationals, Wells gave up four runs on seven hits over five innings. He struck out one and walked one, and got a lot of help from his teammates as they rallied from a 4-0 deficit. His sinker wasn’t sinking and his changeup wasn’t working, but somehow Wells held on. This is on the job training for the rookie, who should benefit from an extra day’s rest. (MLB.com)


Organization by Position (Hitters)

We did this about a month in to take a look at where we stood from a depth standpoint in the system and we’ll do it again position by position. Monday we’ll take a look at the pitchers. Last time I grouped and ordered them by level in the organization. This time I went a different route. The minimum plate appearance cutoff was 125 and then I ordered the guys by OPS. I usually use a baseline of .800 OPS for a successful / impact bat in the lineup. I’ve noted that benchmark in the graphs. Let’s take a look. All stats are through games on July 22, 2009

Catcher – If you looked at the list last year, Geo would definitely have been above that benchmark line. Instead we see only Chirinos, who has been playing in High-A, which seems a little low for a guy his age. Not that encouraging to start. I think in the end, Geo will probably be able to finish above the benchmark, but my confidence is chased with the bitterness and frustration that was Rick Wilkins.

First base – Blake Lalli, a favorite of mine, shows that you don’t need to be a home run hitter to be “productive”. He’s not a power guy, but gets on base and hits enough doubles to be a productive player. I’m a little surprised Ridling is as low as he is. He drives in runs, but doesn’t seem to be as productive as I thought.

Second base – Let’s just say we need to address this position….seriously. Can’t wait to get Aaron Miles back.

Shortstop – Sorry Tommy, The Riot doesn’t quite make the cut, though his increase in power this year has put him just on the outside looking in. If he can continue to improve, I see no reason why he can’t be above .800 by season end.

Third Base – Rammy and Vitters have me excited. And to think that this was a position we used to have guys like Salazar, Orie and Buechele manning that position. Explain to me again why Scales is not on the roster? Why did we go get Jeff Baker again?

Outfield – What? Milton and Sori aren’t above the cut? But, we’ve paid so much for them. Only Kosuke is above the fold, and he was all but left for dead after last year. Thank God we have him this year or who knows where our outfield would be. Good to see Brett Jackson, the only guy I waived the 125 plate appearance minimum for, off to a hot start after being drafted in the 1st round this June. Josh Harrison intrigues me as well because of his ability to play the IF as well. Perhaps he deserves a shot at 2B.

Minor League Notes

  • Casey Fossum only allowed one run in 7.0 innings pitched
  • Hung-Wen Chen only allowed 1 ER over 6.2 innings pitched
  • Craig Muschko pitched 5.0 scoreless innings
  • Justin Bristow struck out 8 batters and pitched 6.0 scoreless innings
  • Jovan Rosa was 2-for-3 with 5 RBI

Top Prospect Tracker


Photo Op

Jovan Rosa is batting .314 with a homer and 10 RBIs in 15 games with Peoria. (Paul R. Gierhart/MiLB.com)

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail