By Jason Wojciechowski on March 22, 2003 at 4:56 PM
This is a bit old news by this point, but the A's sent Aaron Harang to the minors, just as I feared they would. John Halama is going to be the fifth starter to start the season. Now, a lot of Harang's case for the job is founded on the usual spring training optimism about his having lost weight, allowing him to keep the ball down, and so on. But Halama's case for the job is simple optimism without even the usual spring training drivel, as he's been pitched miserably, giving up runs in bunches.
A rotation of four lefties is a neat novelty, but not when that fourth lefty is a terrible starting pitcher. Halama's performance as a starter has been wretched in recent years. Maybe he can turn it around. Maybe Rick Peterson will continue his quest to become the new "miracle worker," tracing the paths of Don Gullett and Leo Mazzone before him.
But I'm not optimistic. I'm afraid Halama's going to be terrible, not even giving himself value in a trade, forcing the A's to cut bait and bring Harang up to do the job he should have been doing all along. Harang's just a placeholder for guys like Rich Harden and John Rheinecker anyway, and this is just a fifth starter job we're talking about, so maybe it's not worth getting worked up over.
And really, one of the major miracles that Peterson has worked has been pioneering new techniques and reworking old ones for keeping his pitchers healthy. So, like as not, Halama won't even have the decency to strain a groin or something and go on the List (term stolen from Will Carroll) so he can go Wally Pipp on us in favor of Harang's Lou Gehrig.