Over at FanGraphs, there’s a fairly thoughtful post about Aaron Harang’s 2008 season, and what to expect from the big guy going forward. The conclusion:
This past season saw his highest percentage of flyballs in a full season at 44%, so he threw more balls in the air, and a higher percentage than usual left the park. This should regress moving forward, but the dropoff in strikeouts does signal some sense of a dropoff. He lost some velocity on the fastball, but nothing drastic enough to claim a large role in the much poorer 2008 campaign. Is Harang as bad as he performed in 2008? No, not by a longshot, but there was a serious performance decline here that cannot be chalked up solely as bad luck, which could have to do with some type of injury, or could signal the start of his decline. He will likely be much better next season, but the potential award winner from 2005-07 may be gone for good.
Rob Neyer (subscription required) notes further:
The Reds are going to be a popular dark horse next spring, but they’re not going far unless Harang is luckier (likely) and better (who knows?).