Set to make his third start of the spring with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Dan Haren took the mound at Surprise Stadium against the Kansas City Royals today.
Haren went four innings, allowing just one run and seemed to be on track for the regular season; however, it appears he’s dealing with a minor issue. According to Pedro Moura of the OC Register, the 33-year-old is experiencing a tired arm:
Dan Haren said his arm is a little tired for this stage. He’s hoping for 1-2 days of rest soon: “I don’t know if it’s dead arm or whatever.”
— Pedro Moura (@pedromoura) March 11, 2014
The issue may just be more of an early spring problem, rather than a long-term injury, but comes at a time when the Dodgers are already behind schedule with one starting pitcher in Zack Greinke. Haren is projected as the team’s fourth starter after being signed in November and was in the running to start in the Dodgers’ opening games in Australia until manager Don Mattingly named Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu the starters. With the possibility of Australia all but likely, an issue like this could keep Haren home for the trip.
According to Eric Stephen of True Blue LA, the Dodgers have not yet decided what to do with Haren and plans could change now:
Dan Haren said it hasn't been determined whether he will go to Australia. Might stay back to pitch in minor league games in AZ
— Eric Stephen (@truebluela) March 11, 2014
If Haren stays back, it’ll give another pitcher an opportunity to make the trip and give the right-hander a chance to be ready for the regular season. The Dodgers will be able to take 30 players to Australia and will need to make more cuts this week to trim the roster. Haren would serve as the emergency starter Down Under and if he doesn’t make the trip, he’d stay at Camelback Ranch.
With Greinke slightly behind schedule because of the right calf strain, the last thing they need is Haren getting off schedule as well.
ICYMI: Clayton Kershaw is honored to pitch in the Opening Series in Australia