Rich Harden hasn’t pitched yet this season, but the A’s right-hander is working his way back from a strained right lat muscle injury. When healthy, Harden is as good as anyone in the league, but the A’s know all too well that Harden’s body is very fragile.
According to Jane Lee of MLB.com, the Athletics plan to have Harden face live hitters on Monday. It is then expected that the righty will have to participate in a simulated game and then a minor league assignment.
When he is finally deemed ‘healthy,’ the A’s will have to decide whether to have him start in the rotation or in the bullpen.
Harden, at this point I’m sure, would just like to get back on the mound. The A’s could certainly use him in the rotation, but I’m not sure whether or not they’ll plug him in there immediately. Oakland might have him transition into the bullpen.
Whether or not he’s in the rotation or the ‘pen, Oakland’s right-hander just needs to stay healthy and help this young team win.