Dodgers @ Padres August 29, 2014: Finding Hope for Dan Haren

Dodgers
Padres
7:10 p.m. PT
San Diego, Ca.
2B
Gordon
3B
Solarte
SS
Ramirez
CF
Almonte
1B
Gonzalez
LF
Smith
RF
Kemp
1B
Grandal
LF
Crawford
2B
Gyorko
CF
Ethier
C
Rivera
3B
Turner
RF
Liriano
C
Ellis
SS
Amarista
P
Haren (R)
P
Cashner (R)

Dan Haren‘s home runs have been a big problem this year, as we all know. He gave up one in his last start against the Mets, bringing his season total to 25. Only twelve hitters have hit more home runs than Dan Haren has allowed in 2014.

Yet, in trying to find some irrational hope for tonight’s start in Petco Park, there’s this: Petco hates home runs. Seamheads has three year park factors for each stadium (Fangraphs is per team and five years). In 2013, Petco’s three year home run park factor was 82, or a suppression of about 18%. At least that’s something to grasp onto.

If Haren pitches every fifth game from here to the rest of the season, he has six starts remaining (including tonight). Haren is currently sitting at 150 innings pitched, 30 innings shy of his team option becoming a player option. If he lasts five innings per start, he’ll reach the threshold. So far this season, Haren is averaging 5-2/3 innings per start. It’s going to be really close.

When asked about the option after his good outing last week, Haren said “Who knows if I would want to play next year?” hinting that he is not 100% guaranteed to exercise the option even if it vests. Still, it’s rare to see a player turn down that kind of money. The situation has me a bit torn; Haren for 11MM next season is not exactly palatable, but if he lasts 30 more innings it means that he might be vaguely helpful in reaching the playoffs. We’ll see.

To close out the Haren part of this game thread, a “fun” fact. Haren has allowed 15 unearned runs to score this season. Clayton Kershaw has allowed 15 unearned runs since 7/16/2011.

Before the game, we got a bunch of injury updates. Strangely, they’re all positive. Hyun-jin Ryu, on the disabled list with a strained gluteous muscle, is currently scheduled to start on Sunday. This would push Roberto Hernandez to Monday and schedule Clayton Kershaw to start on Tuesday. It’s amazing how big of an upgrade it is to go from Kevin Correia to Ryu.

Juan Uribe is also progressing well. He ran the bases before the game on Wednesday, and is expected to be activated on Monday. Amazingly, Scott Van Slyke‘s ankle sprain isn’t very bad, either. Eric Stephen notes that it is possible that Van Slyke will be ready to start against lefty Eric Stults on Sunday.

Even after all of these overwhelmingly positive injury notes, we still need to think back on the training staff’s track record. Hopefully everybody is actually ready.

Yasiel Puig, 0 for his last 18, gets another day off today. His power missing is a concern, obviously, but during that 0-fer he has six walks. It’s a sign that he is still seeing the ball well, at least. Don Mattingly is calling it a “frustration day,” for what it’s worth.

Andre Ethier starts in Puig’s place tonight. Hitler is not pleased (courtesy of commenter Blue Marvin, keep watching for some humor based on the posts here):

About Daniel Brim

Daniel Brim
Daniel Brim grew up in the Los Angeles area but doesn't live there anymore. He still watches the Dodgers and writes about them sometimes.