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Who Are Ya: Aaron Harang vs. J.A. Happ

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Greg Fiume

The Blue Jays go up against 35-year-old right hander Aaron Harang today. What magic Harang used to have looks to have run out this year. After being a fine back of the rotation option for years, he has a 5.27 ERA and a 4.55 FIP that comes from a 1.52 HR/9. Although he's hardly walked anyone, he still hasn't had a K/9 above 7.00 since 2009. He makes his start against J.A. Happ who hasn't pitched since being hit with a line drive and hurting his knee in May.

Harang throws a fastball, sinker, changeup, slider, and curveball with his fastball hitting around 90 MPH. A fastball-slider combination is how he attacks right handed hitters, with his slider being Harang's best off-speed pitch. As you can see below his slider and curveball are very similar with likely a small grip change causing more downward movement on the curve:

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This is where Harang will try to attack Blue Jays with his slider, and it's been a successful strategy against Jays' hitters this year:

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via www.fangraphs.com

Aaron Harang is pretty split neutral and the lineup I'd pencil in would be:

  1. Reyes SS
  2. Bautista RF
  3. Encarnacion DH
  4. Lind 1B
  5. Rasmus CF
  6. Davis RF
  7. Izturis 2B
  8. Lawrie 3B
  9. Arencibia C
If you forgot what to expect from J.A. Happ, it's a lot of hard stuff with the lefty regularly throwing either his fastball, sinker, or cutter over 75% of the time in his starts earlier this year. Although to be fair, his cutter is actually a slider in the low 80's:

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For the "Find the Link" this afternoon:

FInd the link between Aaron Harang and the Buffalo Bisons' starting designated hitter.

Enjoy!