Haren has thrown 122.1 innings through 21 starts. The option in his contract will vest if the right-hander reaches 180 innings, which at this rate appears to be more of a formality than question mark.
With a win-now mentality, it can be argued gambling on the aging starter for one guaranteed season was worth the risk. However, given the direction Haren is trending towards, a second year at $10 million would be detrimental to the team.
The Dodgers have 58 games remaining on their regular season schedule. The decision has been made to skip Haren in his next scheduled start, but that shouldn’t be the extent of it. A stint on the 15-day disabled list would also be beneficial.
Aside from it limiting the number of opportunities Haren would have to accrue 180 innings, it may also be the break he needs mentally. The right-hander stated he was hoping he’d come out strong after the All-Star break, but that hasn’t occurred and he’s at a loss as to why he’s continued to struggle.
Given his latest body of work, going without Haren for a handful of starts wouldn’t be much of a loss. It’s difficult to fathom Paul Maholm doing much worse and that’s not taking into account the Dodgers possibly adding a pitcher to the roster via a trade.
The Dodgers took a chance on Haren in a decision that hasn’t necessarily panned out and there’s no undoing the signing of the 33-year-old.
However, the Dodgers can exert a certain amount of control over whether or not Haren is with the team next season and there’s only one correct ending to that possibility.
Dodgers May Look To Boston Red Sox For Bullpen Help