Aaron Michael Harang
The Los Angeles Dodgers now have the unbelievable talent and experience of veteran starting pitcher Aaron Harang in their rotation as they start their 2012-2013 Dodgers Season campaign. Despite having been sidelined in recent years by various health issues that put him on the disabled list multiple times, the veteran right-hander is coming off a rebound season, going 14-7 with a 3.64 ERA in 170.2 innings pitched.
The Dodgers are hopeful that Harang can stay healthy and keep up his performance as they finally landed the prolific pitcher late last year after having pursued Harang heavily in the past. The 33-year-old was signed to a 2-year, $12 million, free-agent contract with a mutual option for 2014 to help fill in the team after the departure of Hiroki Kuroda, slotting in as the Dodgers’ fourth starter.
“It made it more enticing, knowing it wasn’t something just spontaneous, like, ‘Let’s just go after this guy,'” Harang said. “It’s been in the back of my mind that they’ve wanted me a while. That made it an easier decision, knowing people want you and have been working at something for multiple years.”
For Harang, one of the added attractions of signing with the Dodgers was the proximity to home and playing at the Los Angeles Dodgers Stadium. The San Diego native was born on May 9, 1978 in San Diego, California and continues to reside in the area with his family. While pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium is not quite as spacious as Petco Park – or as much as a veritable oasis for pitchers of any quality – the 6-foot-7, 260-pound right-hander is confident that his addition to the Dodgers rotation is a good fit and believes there is a very good chance that the Dodgers will contend this season.
“I’m excited about the opportunity I have here. This is a really good ballclub here. We definitely have a shot to be there at the end.”
Harang was first drawn into professional baseball after being selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 22nd round of the 1996 MLB Draft (661st overall) but he did not sign with the team, opting to finish college. Following his graduation from San Diego State University, Harang was drafted and signed by the Texas Rangers in the 6th round of the 1999 MLB Draft (195th overall), kicking off a solid career that has seen him soar into the Major Leagues and develop into a top-caliber pitcher.
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