The Los Angeles Dodgers are in somewhat of an enviable position by having eight starting pitchers for five spots, but they can't jump into the season with an eight-deep rotation. The club is likely to move the odd men out into the bullpen or look to deal them before Opening Day.
Manager Don Mattingly may have dropped a hint as to which pitcher is most likely to be dealt this spring, stating yesterday that Aaron Harang doesn't really profile as a bullpen guy, reports Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times:
Before the Dodgers’ 11-7 victory over the Cubs on Wednesday in Mesa, Ariz., Manager Don Mattingly seemed to make it clear that any future Harang had with the Dodgers was strictly as a starter.
Which sounds like Harang's a guy headed out.
"Aaron Harang doesn’t seem like the kind of guy that pitches out of the pen," Mattingly told reporters.
Whether Harang "seems" like a guy who's fit for bullpen duty or not doesn't really matter if he wants to have a role with the Dodgers. There's a possibility that Harang will find a role at the back-end of the rotation to start the year, but really only if the injury-prone Chad Billingsley or another starter goes down. Even then, Harang would have to fight with Chris Capuano and Ted Lilly for starts.
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Harang, 34, put together a nice season for the Dodgers in 2012, posting a 3.61 ERA in 31 starts, but the additions of Josh Beckett, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Zack Greinke have pushed the veteran right-hander out of a spot. The Dodgers are on the hook for $7 million for Harang this year, and have a mutual option on the right-hander at the same price for next season.
Several clubs are likely to be in need of rotation depth as the regular season approaches, so Harang shouldn't have much trouble finding a starter spot if the Dodger do end up dealing him.