After missing all of last season due to injury Rich Harden signed a minor league deal with the Twins.
It wouldn’t surprise me if the 31-year-old is still being considered a starter. But it feels long over due to start looking at Harden as a reliever.
The guy’s durability is nonexistent. So if there’s any value left in his right arm why not try and better maintain his health as a late-inning reliever?
It’s likely to limit him from making too many back-to-back appearances, but it can’t be any worse than Harden’s tough luck staying healthy as a starter.
Anyway, I always remember Harden as Jim Hendry’s answer to the Brewers trading for CC Sabathia in 2008, who was practically untouchable with Milwaukee (11-2, 1.65). But Harden held his own in 12 starts with Chicago:
(5-1, 1.77), ERA+258. No doubt one of Hendry’s better trades.
Unfortunately more arm problems limited Harden to 26 starts the following season (9-9, 4.09) and the Cubs smartly parted ways in the offseason.
Oh yeah, who could forget Harden’s ever present smirking grin? Where have I seen that before?