Harang Scratched from First Start


Now we can add new starting pitcher Aaron Harang to the Phillies emerging list of players being unexpectedly slowed down in their progress as 2015 spring training really gets rolling this week.

Harang has been scratched from what was supposed to be his first start in a Phils uniform tomorrow afternoon at George Steinbrenner Field against the New York Yankees. Instead, he will now be rescheduled for next Monday in Sarasota against the Baltimore Orioles.

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The publicly announced reason for the big righthander being pushed back was “maintenance”, which could be almost anything. Jake Kaplan reported this was not for a physical injury, but rather due to the pitcher working on fine-tuning his mechanics.

Harang signed with the Phils in early January. The 13-year veteran will turn 37-years old in May, and the Phillies are his 8th big league organization. He spent 8 seasons in his prime with the Cincinnati Reds from 2003-10, including a big 2007 season after which he finished 4th in NL Cy Young Award voting.

Starting 2nd baseman Chase Utley is already out of the lineup due to a sprained ankle which he allegedly suffered by stepping on a baseball during off-season workouts. The ankle is expected to keep Utley out of this first week of Grapefruit League action.

Harang, who is expected to be the #3 starter in the rotation behind Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee, will now be replaced by one of the new pitchers signed this off-season to battle for a role at the back-end of the rotation.

That pitcher will be Kevin Slowey, a righthander signed just two days before Christmas. Slowey has 7 big league seasons under his belt with the Minnesota Twins and Miami Marlins. He is scheduled to be followed to the mound by Paul Clemens, who pitched two solid innings in the start on Sunday vs the University of Tampa.