According to a recent post from Susan Slusser of the SF Chronicle, A’s right-handed pitcher Rich Harden, could be back on a mound as early as Tuesday. The 29-year old flamethrower signed a one-year deal with Oakland this past winter for $1.5 million, but has been sidelined all season with a strained muscle in his right arm.
The A’s, who made a flurry of moves this offseason to address the team’s lack of depth, brought Harden back to the bay area in the hopes he could revive his once promising career. Injuries have derailed Harden for most of his career, but when he’s healthy, Harden can match up against anyone.
He last pitched for the Texas Rangers, going 5-5 with a 5.58 ERA in 18 starts. He suffered various injuries last season, and was not part of Texas’ roster during the post-season, as he was designated for assignment shortly before the playoffs last year.
He last pitched for Oakland in 2008, and went 5-1 with a 2.34 ERA in 13 starts before getting traded to the Chicago Cubs. He went 5-1 with a 1.77 ERA with the Cubs that season. In his career, Harden has pitched for Oakland, Chicago, and Texas, and owns a 55-34 career record with a 3.63 ERA.
The news surrounding Harden is good, but A’s fans should never get too excited with Harden, as his health is always in doubt. A decrease in velocity along with a lack of command of his pitches hurt Harden last season, and his K/9 rate fell from 10.92 in 2009 to 7.34 in 2010. Fingers crossed.