Dodgers @ Rockies, Sept. 16, 2014: Dan Haren Needs 11 Innings

Dodgers
Rockies
5:40 p.m.
Denver, Co.
2B
Gordon
RF
Blackmon
CF
Puig
SS
Rutledge
1B
Gonzalez
1B
Morneau
RF
Kemp
CF
Stubbs
LF
Van Slyke
LF
Dickerson
SS
Turner
C
McKenry
3B
Uribe
3B
Culberson
C
Ellis
2B
LeMahieu
P
Haren (R)
P
Matzek (L)

Dan Haren option watch IS GO. Haren is 11 innings away from his $10m 2015 option, and he has at least two starts remaining, today in Colorado and, most likely, on Sunday in Chicago. After that, he’d be lined up to pitch one of the final three games of the season against the Rockies back in Los Angeles, though there’s a day off before that series, and the NL West may very well be completely wrapped up by then. Since you wouldn’t have to worry about making sure Haren was ready for a potential postseason start — a Game 3 of the NLDS if Hyun-jin Ryu is out, likely a Game 4 if Ryu is healthy — any move to take that final start away from him would seem to be a pretty transparent move to avoid the option.

I have a hard time seeing the Dodgers do that, causing a problem not only with a player they’ll need in the playoffs but also with the player’s union. Depending on how well he pitches against the Rockies and Cubs, Haren might not even need that third start to do it. I’m a bit torn on this, I guess. Haren hasn’t really been worth $10m this year, and it’s hard to see him being markedly better next year. Then again, it’s not like this team has payroll limitations, and I doubt his presence would cause them to not make the upgrades they feel they need this winter. I suppose we should just accept that it’s going to happen and move on.

The original version of that lineup had Hanley Ramirez playing shortstop, by the way. About an hour before game time, he was scratched with a “right elbow strain” and replaced by Justin Turner. I can’t say I love Turner at shortstop over, say, Miguel Rojas, but I also know which one is swinging the bat in an acceptable manner. As expected, Scott Van Slyke gets a start rather than Carl Crawford with Tyler Matzek kicking off a week of lefties. Considering that Crawford was hit twice last night and sounded like he was sore, I’d be perfectly happy if Crawford just sat out the entire week. No need to push a guy with an injury history, after all, especially when you have a perfectly acceptable alternative in Van Slyke.

ThrowsRelieverSat 10/15Sun 10/16Mon 10/17Tue 10/18Wed 10/19Thur 10/20Fri 10/21
LAvilan--OFF-2421OFF
RBaez34-OFF-2727OFF
RBlanton28-OFF13-19OFF
LDayton3-OFF16-12OFF
RFields--OFF-910OFF
RJansen-18OFF21--OFF
RStripling10-OFF-2018OFF
LWood--OFF-32-OFF

About Mike Petriello

Mike Petriello
Mike writes about lots of baseball in lots of places, and right now that place is MLB.com.