Aaron Harang began feeling some lower back stiffness yesterday and by today, it had not gone away. As a result, he’s been scratched from tonight’s scheduled start here in New York and Hector Noesi will take his place.
Noesi, as you may recall, used to pitch for the Yankees before coming over with Jesus Montero in the Michael Pineda deal. Last May, in a May 12 start here against the Yanks, he gave up four runs the first two innings and was down 5-0 by the fourth in taking the loss. That game saw Noesi make it through seven frames without allowing any further runs in what some pointed to as a moral victory of sorts for him.
Turned out, any victory was short-lived. Noesi continued a pattern of getting lit up early and often and was eventually Class AAA-bound. He was in AA this year before the Mariners needed a long reliever and his outings to-date have actually been better than many expected.
So, tonight, a key might be Noesi survivng the first couple of innings.
As for Harang, he’s had these back issues crop up a couple of times over the years.
“Just from it getting out of allignment,” he said. “I’ve had regular chiropractor treatments. Just with all the flying, you’re on the plane and sitting– I’ve got my legs spread out and can’t put them straight forward because of how long my legs are — it’s just the little stuff I’ve got to keep doing. Obviously, with the last long trip and then a couple of days at home and we turn around and go on another long trip. Changing hotels…I spent the whole first month of the season in a hotel pretty much too. It’s just been hard to stay on that stuff.”
Harang received treatment from team therapists today and figures that with some additional sessions, he could be good to go by the time his next scheduled start comes around next Tuesday in Los Angeles.
Harang was looking forward to pitching here at Yankee Stadium. He’s never faced the Yankees before and they would have been the 30th club he’s squared off against in his lengthy career.
“It was pretty frustrating, the fact that this has happened,” he said.
That prior time against the Mets had been a scheduled July 4 outing.
“It was tough,” he said. “We couldn’t even find a chiropractor in the city because everybody took off for the long weekend.”