Dan Haren: Wikis

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Dan Haren

Arizona Diamondbacks — No. 15
Starting pitcher
Born: September 17, 1980 (1980-09-17) (age 29)
Monterey Park, California
Bats: Right Throws: Right 
MLB debut
June 30, 2003 for the St. Louis Cardinals
Career statistics
(through November 1 , 2009)
Win-Loss     79-62
Earned run average     3.61
Innings pitched     1226.2
Walks     270
Strikeouts     1035
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Daniel John Haren (born September 17, 1980, in Monterey Park, California) is a Major League Baseball starting pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks.[1]

Contents

High-school and college career

Haren, who is of Irish and Mexican descent, graduated from Bishop Amat High School in La Puente, CA in 1998. He attended Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA on a baseball scholarship. It was there that Haren teamed up with Noah Lowry, a left-handed pitcher just one month younger than Haren, to form the best starting pitching duo in the West Coast Conference. In the 2001 season, Haren posted a 2.22 ERA in 17 starts, and Lowry posted a 1.71 ERA in 18 starts. The teammates (and roommates) skipped their senior seasons, and Lowry was taken in the 1st round (30th overall) by the San Francisco Giants and Haren was taken in the 2nd round (72nd overall) by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2001 Major League Baseball Draft.[2]

Haren quickly shot up through the St. Louis organization. He made 28 starts in A-ball in 2002 for Peoria and Potomac, finishing with a combined ERA of 2.74. He started 2003 in Double-A Tennessee, but was so dominant in his 8 starts he was promoted to Triple-A Memphis and eventually made it all the way to the big club.

Major League career

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St. Louis Cardinals

Haren made his major league debut at the age of 22. He pitched well in his debut but was out-dueled by Jason Schmidt, who went on to finish second in the National League Cy Young Award voting that year. In his MLB debut, he showed off his batting skills by hitting the very first pitch he saw for a double. After finishing 2003 with a 5.08 ERA for the Cardinals, however, he was sent back down to AAA Memphis for the 2004 season. He received a late-season call-up, and made five appearances in the post-season for the Cardinals, including two in the World Series. The Cardinals were swept by the Boston Red Sox, but Haren pitched well, tossing 4 2/3 scoreless innings.

Oakland Athletics

Pitching in a game against the Seattle Mariners.

After the 2004 season, Haren was traded in a package that included right-handed reliever Kiko Calero and top hitting prospect Daric Barton to the Oakland Athletics for Mark Mulder, one of the best pitchers in the American League at the time. Mulder was surprisingly not missed, as Haren went 14-12 with a 3.73 ERA in his first full season as a major leaguer.[3]

With Haren joining the A's, he got the opportunity to pitch against the rival San Francisco Giants in the Bay Bridge Series. Coincidentally, he has gone head-to-head multiple times against best friend and former teammate Noah Lowry, who also quickly made it to the majors. Haren has been the victor in both of the Haren/Lowry duels.

Haren and Lowry were former tenants in the same apartment building in South San Francisco, California, with Haren living directly above Lowry. However, Haren currently lives in Arizona with his wife, the former Jessica Valdez. The couple was married on November 17, 2006. They recently had a boy, Rhett, born 3 days before he was acquired by the Diamondbacks.

In 2005, Haren broke the top 10 in the American League in the following categories: innings (217-9th place), strikeouts (163-6th place), and complete games (3-4th place).

His early career was plagued by inconsistency, although he allowed a low number of walks, not many hits, and a good number of strikeouts. Some starts showed his inability to prevent home runs, or get out of a jam. However, in 2007, he seemed to eliminate his shaky starts, allowing five earned runs or less in every start. He allows a very small number of hits and walks, and his pitches were sharp. He was considered an early front-runner for the 2007 American League Cy Young Award, which was eventually won by CC Sabathia.

Furthermore, in 2007, Haren had one of the best seasons among any pitcher in the majors. Haren finished in the top ten in the American League in wins, with 15, strikeouts, with 192, and finished in the top three in the AL in ERA with 3.07.

In 2007, he was also selected to start the MLB All Star Game after Mark Buerhle declined for the American League.

On December 14, 2007, Haren was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks along with Connor Robertson for prospects including Carlos González, Brett Anderson, Aaron Cunningham, Greg Smith, Dana Eveland, and Chris Carter.

Arizona Diamondbacks

2008

In his first season with the Arizona Diamondbacks he was selected to the 2008 All-Star game at Yankee Stadium along with his teammate, Brandon Webb. He finished 2008 with an impressive 3.33 ERA to go along with a 16-8 win-loss record, and a career-high 206 strikeouts.

On August 6, 2008, Haren agreed to a four-year, $44.75 million contract and a team option for the 2013.[1]

2009

Haren was also selected a 2009 NL All-Star, representing the Diamondbacks along with Justin Upton. As of July 10, he leads all of major league pitchers in innings pitched (130), whip (0.810), lowest opponent batting average (.189), starts (18), ERA (2.01), least amount of runs allowed (31), strikeout to walk ratio (8.1:1), first pitch strike percentage (about 78%), least amount of walks for a starter (16), quality start percentage (94.1%), and least amount of hits given up for a starting pitcher in 2009 (85). ESPN's Baseball Tonight has speculated that the National League Cy Young Award race is between either Haren or the Giants' ace Tim Lincecum.

As of the 2009 All-Star break, Haren has lost 5 games, which is mostly due to poor run support when he is on the mound. He has compiled an impressive 130 strikeouts for the first half (which is third in the national league, and also on pace to break his career-best 206 strikeout total set last year in 2008). He has 3 complete games (including his second career shutout) in 2009 and has also not allowed more than two runs in a single start since May 23 versus the Oakland Athletics, and only one of his 18 starts has not been a quality start. And as of July 10, 2009, he has pitched at least 6 innings in all of his starts for the season. [1] In terms of hitting, Haren also leads all pitchers with 11 hits and a .270 batting average to go along with his first career home run and five RBIs in the 2009 season. [1] ESPN reporter Buster Olney claimed on the July 10 edition of Baseball Tonight that it was "no competition" and that Dan Haren is the "best pitcher in baseball".

In 2009 he was named # 33 on the Sporting News' list of the 50 greatest current players in baseball. A panel of 100 baseball people, many of them members of the Baseball Hall of Fame and winners of major baseball awards, was polled to arrive at the list. [4]

Pitching style

Haren throws a 92–94 mph fastball (hit 97 mph) with movement, a sharp split-finger fastball, and the occasional changeup and curveball. Haren has also added and relied more heavily upon a 90-92 mph cut fastball this season that he credits for his success. Haren also throws a slider that is similar to his cutter at 86-88 mph.[5] His curveball is just an average offering that he flips over to get ahead early in the count, while his splitter is a plus pitch and his main strikeout weapon. When able to control his split-finger fastball, batters swing as the ball drops down at the last second. He has excellent control, having one of the best K/BB ratios in the league, but is prone to giving up home runs. Haren usually has a slow pitching delivery, highlighted by a slight pause in the middle of his windup, that he speeds up with runners on base. His pitching style is often dubbed a "chess match" by reporters and announcers (particularly Daron Sutton and Mark Grace of the Diamondbacks announce team) due to his ability to change speeds and throw any pitch on any count (and often throws pitches in succession, i.e. four straight breaking balls), often going against scouting reports, making it particularly hard to hit him. [5]

References

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Kenny Rogers
American League All-Star Game Starting Pitcher
2007
Succeeded by
Cliff Lee
Preceded by
Roy Halladay
American League Pitcher of the month
May 2007
Succeeded by
J. J. Putz
Preceded by
Todd Wellemeyer
National League Pitcher of the month
June 2008
Succeeded by
CC Sabathia

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