By Jason Wojciechowski on July 18, 2003 at 3:58 PM
The A's called up Harden on Thursday. The fact that this was going to happen was the worst-kept secret in the game.
He's apparently supposed to make his debut on Monday against the Royals. That's a nice team to start against, because they're not a great offensive team, and he also gets to start on the road. Plus, he gets, as Rick Peterson said, "four days prior to his start where he can run around the field a little bit, get a sense where things are in the clubhouse and talk to the guys." It's interesting that they're making the move this way instead of keeping Aaron Harang around until right before Harden is to make his start. Obviously, they want Harden to get acquainted and feel comfortable with the team before he actually pitches, and they're sacrificing having another arm available in the bullpen to do so.
Of course, having just come off the Some-Star (as Lee Sinins calls it) break where only Mark Mulder and Keith Foulke pitched, the pen is fresh, so it's not such a big deal to have an extra arm hanging around.
I'll just hope that the team playing its heart instead of its hard, analytical head doesn't blow up in their faces.