the last Matt Murton post

When They Pull a Knife, You Pull a Gun

UPDATE 4:56 CST: One of our readers tipped us to this fantastic piece on Rich Harden's mechanics (with video) by Carlos Gomez at The Hardball Times. Can't recommend it enough....


I've had a little time to digest the trade since my initial reaction and a little time to actually write about it now. I don't think there's too many warm-blooded Cubs fan out there who aren't happy about the deal...other than maybe a Chicken Little or two that are never happy with anything the Cubs do.

We all know the risks. Rich Harden has all the durability of a roll of toilet paper caught in a rainstorm. He was called up half way through the 2003 season, proceeded to make 31 starts in 2004 and has battled injuries ever since. The list is too long and complicated for me to dive into, so we'll wait for the good Dr. Hecht to chime in on that side of the trade. Harden's 13 starts this year are his highest total since 2005 and he spent almost a month of this year already on the disabled list. But in those 13 starts, he's gone 5-1
with a 2.34 ERA, 10.75 K/9, 2.97 K:BB and 0.58 HR/9.

He once had a fastball that could hit 100, although he seems to have dialed it back a bit this year. He compliments that fastball with a fantastic change-up and that's pretty much it. He'll occasionally throw a slider in there, but seems to have scrapped it for the most part this season. A quick and dirty comparison with some of the best in the game using career numbers:

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  • Phil, what's your thoughts on which position players are going to Eugene and who is staying in AZL?

    azbobbop 3 hours 32 min ago view
  • Ahhh...way to bring me down BB.

    Still - a win tomorrow will be an acheivement regardless.

    The E-Man 4 hours 20 min ago view
  • Don't mean to spoil your mood, but with tonight's win the are 3-5 on the trip with one to play.

    While I'm bringing the room down -- Richard comes in to pitch the 9th with a 12-1 lead...and can't finish the game. Woof.

    billybucks 4 hours 53 min ago view
  • jacos 4 hours 53 min ago view
  • It is remarkable how my mood has become uplifted with one game against the Cards.

    That is sick.

    But, I have been an addict for a long time.

    A W tomorrow and it will be a .500 road trip.

    Also, to keep the losses in perspective, if the Cubs were to lose 10 games a month - a lot at this current pace - they still end up 102-60. Six months of the ride!

    The E-Man 5 hours 3 min ago view
  • So, the Mesa Cubs should be solid this summer in the AZL Rookie League?

    And, I like the, "But did you know" lead in there. Something a little different.

    I can tell really like this group of hitters in AZ right now.

    What pitchers out there, other than Cease, should we be excited about?

    Thanks as always for the info.

    Childersb3 5 hours 43 min ago view
  • back on the Run Differential hunt... (aka The Hunt for Blue October)

    Cubster 6 hours 11 min ago view
  • These are the 2016 Cubs I know and love. Also digging that Cardinals OF (lack of) defense.

    Charlie 6 hours 27 min ago view
  • Another day, another eight runs

    jacos 6 hours 43 min ago view
  • I'm not sure there was another team in baseball that would flip a Dansby Swanson type of prospect (plus Inciarte, plus Toussaint) for Miller.  That trade was just comically bad from the start, and getting worse... 

    Transmission 6 hours 45 min ago view
  • Zobrist just keeps squaring up - and Soler goes yard!

    Eric S 6 hours 45 min ago view
  • Pirates jumping all over Shelby Miller tonight - so glad the Cubs didn't flip a Dansby Swanson type prospect to the Braves for him. Two years of Lackey looking like a good alternative.

    Eric S 6 hours 50 min ago view
  • 3rd inning...soler walked twice in the game...first time since aug 4th last year in the regular season (2 times in the playoffs, amazingly).

    crunch 7 hours 16 min ago view
  • Good gravy, was that a much-appreciated top of the first.

    Transmission 7 hours 44 min ago view
  • That's a good analogy, bb...  Nice to see tonight's game start with a 104 yard kickoff return TD.

    Transmission 7 hours 47 min ago view
  • Grichuk won the game last night but a decent CF would have caught that drive by Ross. Good Cubbery!

    Cubster 7 hours 47 min ago view