Wednesday, October 6, 2010

D-back Dan Haren vs. Angel Dan Haren

Was Dan Haren better as an Angel or as a Diamondback this year?

I raised this question after reading the comments from a Rob Neyer story about Roy Halladay's gem.

ressehilsborne said:

"I'm so tired of hearing about how pitching to the NL is so much easier. It's total ####, first of all your pitching to major league hitters in either sense it's not going to be easy in either league. But time and time again i hear the same story.

So you think the DH adds a lot more depth and strength to the AL? Then do me a favor and explain to me what went wrong with Dan Haren this year? Why is it he was able to dominate as an Angel and do awful as a Diamondback. Better yet, lets look at the entire career of Barry Zito. Dominated the AL, yet he cant even put up a winning season as a Giant.

Put the AL, NL #### to rest already and find some new material. Halladay pitching the way he did tonight would have cut any team in half, including his own."

I won't dabble in the AL vs. NL debate, but it was interesting to see how Haren fared as an Angel as opposed to his time this year with the Diamondbacks. If you recall, Haren had a "rough" going as a Diamondback. I put rough in quotes because his traditional numbers were pedestrian, but his rate stats were exceptional.

In 141 innings with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Haren had a 7-8 record and a 4.60 ERA. In 94 innings with the Los Angeles, California Angels of Anaheim, Haren had a 5-4 record and a 2.87 ERA. That being said, Haren in two of three categories had better rate stats. He posted 1.9 bb/9 and a 9.0 so/9 with the Diamondbacks, and 2.4 bb/9 and 7.4 so/9 with the Angels. The difference is that he gave up 1.5 hr/9 with the Diamondbacks as opposed to 0.8 hr/9 with the Angels. If we take a deeper look, we will see that he had a 3.88 FIP with the Diamondbacks and a 3.45 FIP with the Angels. His WAR with the Diamondbacks was 2.5 and his WAR with the Angels was 2.0. Now WAR is a counting stat, but it is safe to say that Haren was only a little bit better as an Angel than as a Diamondback this season. This is due to the fact that he had a higher home run rate with the Diamondbacks. The one thing we need to keep in mind in this analysis is the 47 inning difference. There's your answer, ressehilsborne.

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