In an effort to shore up the backend of their rotation, the Los Angeles Dodgers signed right-hander Dan Haren to a one-year $10 million contract last Sunday.
Haren spent 2013 with the Washington Nationals and while the overall numbers aren’t very impressive, 10-14 with a 4.67 ERA, he finished the season strong. Dealing with being 3,000 miles away from his family, Haren admitted that took a toll on him and after a “DL” stint in late June, he responded better down the stretch. Talking with Kevin Kennedy and David Vassegh on off-season “Dodger Talk” on AM 570 Radio, Haren talked about his 2013 season:
Last year my velocity was up a little bit. I ran into a little bit of bad luck, things started to snow ball. It definitely wasn’t a stuff thing and I was just getting burned by the home run. In September I fell into a good groove and felt like my old self. I’ll be coming into Spring Training in tip-top shape.
In reference to his DL stint, Haren admitted it was more of a two week break to clear his head mentally and when asked about his injury history, he noted that he’s made at least 30 starts in every professional season since 2004. The second half of the season was much kinder to the 33-year-old starter as he went 6-4 with a 3.52 ERA while allowing just nine home runs after allowing 19 prior to the All-Star Game.
It sounds like the coaching staff is excited to have him onboard after speaking with manager Don Mattingly:
When I was driving home I had plenty of time with traffic. I talked Don Mattingly for a good 10-15 minutes. He was excited I was onboard and I haven’t talked to Rick Honeycutt yet, but I’m sure we’ll chat in the next few days.
The Dodgers rotation currently has Haren penciled in behind the trio of Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu as it’s entirely possible management signs another starter. Regardless, it sounds like Haren is excited about coming home to Southern California and the Dodgers should reap the benefits of a bounce back season.
ICYMI: Here are all the details about Dan Haren signing a contract with the Dodgers