Pitching Previews: Aaron Harang and Kevin Correia

Harry How

The Twins were shut down by Hisashi Iwakuma last night. Today's opposing pitcher shouldn't have as much luck as he faces the Twins' best starter this season.

Aaron Harang

Harang has had a whirlwind season already in 2013. Really all that's missing is a visit to the Blue Jays organization, only to be DFA'd 5 days later. You see, Harang started the season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. At the start of the season they had a significant pitching surplus, and they countered by trading away Harang to the Rockies in exchange for catcher Ramon Hernandez before Harang had even thrown a pitch in the majors this year. The move ultimately was made by the Rockies purely to cut salary, as they instantly DFA'd Harang without even activating him. Oh, I guess he did get the Blue Jays treatment and he didn't even need to visit Canada...

It was a curious move by the Rockies as they always need pitching, but perhaps they felt Harang's fly ball tendencies wouldn't play well at Coors Field. Thus, they traded Harang to the Mariners for a minor leaguer, and now he's starting today's game against the Twins.

Harang used to be the Carl Pavano-like ace for the Reds back in 2005-2007, throwing more than 200 innings in each season with an ERA consistently around 3.75. However, those have been the only 3 seasons he threw 200 innings, as he's had some injury problems since then, although he did make 31 starts for the Dodgers last year. Now, he's had some struggles thus far as he's allowed about 2 home runs per start and has a 6.51 ERA, though he is also close to striking out a batter an inning, which is significantly above his career rate.

Even though Harang is a fly ball pitcher, his main pitch is a 2-seam fastball which he throws 40% of the time. He also has a 4-seamer, slider, curveball, and an occasional change-up. All of his pitches rate as average or below average according to FanGraphs' pitch values.

Protip: Don't call him "The Harangutan."

Kevin Correia

Correia is coming off a victory against the Milwaukee Brewers where he pitched a quality start by allowing 3 runs in 6 innings, though it's important to note that all 3 runs were from solo home runs. By his standards, he also had his strikeout pitches working as he notched 4 in those 6 innings.

He is continuing his surprising season for the Twins with an ERA at 3.96, although he has been getting hit a little harder lately. I suppose I don't need to go too in-depth with Correia after him being featured in my cutters post from Thursday, but I can at least recap his repertoire. Correia throws a cutter, 4-seam fastball, 2-seam fastball, curveball, and splitter, and his cutter is his favorite pitch. FanGraphs rates his 2-seamer as his best pitch, and everything else is slightly below average.

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