Scott Feldman has been bad this year.
He's 5-9 with an ERA of 5.46. Feels like every game he's staked to an early 3-0 lead only to give up five runs in 5.1 innings and walk off the mound tied or behind.
He's scheduled to get the ball again Friday when the Rangers open a three-game series in Anaheim against the Angels.
On what is probably the Rangers' best pitching staff ever, I cringe at the thought. There are options out there:
Matt Harrison. Derek Holland when he gets healthy. And, yes, Rich Harden.
There, I said it.
On the disabled list since June with a sore booty muscle, Harden has made four rehab starts at AAA Oklahoma City. Monday night he struck out 10 in six innings without a walk or earned run. Relatively speaking, he's as ready as he's ever going to be.
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But do we trust Harden more than Feldman?
Their supposed blue-chip off-season signing is 3-3 with a 5.68 ERA. Part of his maddening performance were 43 walks in 65 innings with the Rangers. That's 43 in 65. Cliff Lee? For the year he's walked seven in 139.
We all remember Harden for being given a 9-3 lead in Toronto on May 14 and promptly walking six batters the next two innings of what was eventually a 16-10 loss. Much as I don't feel safe handing the ball to Harden, his upside is greater than Feldman. I say do it.
The Rangers are paying a lot of money for the right to be wrong about Harden.