To say Dan Haren’s first season with the Los Angeles Dodgers has been filled with inconsistency would be putting it mildly.
Haren began the year 4-0 through seven starts, went 1-3 in his next five starts, only to bounce back with a 3-1 record in the following six starts.
The veteran right-hander then had a miserable July, where he went 0-4 with a 9.47 ERA. Haren’s woes carried over into August as his losing streak reached five games. He’s since bounced back to go 3-1 and generally has looked much better than he did in July.
Haren discussed the difficulty of taking the mound only to get hit hard, via Vincent Bonsignore of the LA Daily News:
It’s not fun going out there and getting pummeled every night for like, a month straight basically, and coming to the park miserable every day,” Haren said. “That’s no way to live.”
The losing streak had Haren under consideration for not only being removed from the starting rotation, but it was also enough for the pitcher to doubt himself:
It also makes the losing even harder,” Haren said. “When I was going through my rough stretch earlier, there were times I was doubting why I was even doing this.”
While Haren has struggled, one benefit, if you wish to call it that, is he’s been healthy for the Dodgers. Aside from battling soreness in his back, Haren hasn’t been affected by injuries or landed on the disabled list as other pitchers have.
Haren’s role in the rotation for the remainder of the season now appears secure. In part due to his improving as of late but also somewhat as a byproduct of the Dodgers not having many other options; Josh Beckett is unlikely to return and Kevin Correia is being sent to the bullpen.
As a result, one development to track with the season winding down is his vesting option for 2015. The Dodgers skipped Haren’s scheduled start once thus far and he’s 30 innings away from the Dodgers being on the hook for one more season at $10 million.
For what it’s worth, Haren said he isn’t concerned with his option and said he isn’t sure he would want to return next season. Haren’s next scheduled start is Friday when the Dodgers begin a three-game series in San Diego.
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