Harang eager for fresh start

San Diego Padres starter Aaron Harang is ready to move past

three injury-filled seasons and return to being a power


A San Diego native who also pitched at San Diego State, Harang

said he’s excited about pitching for his hometown team and he feels

physically ready to do so.

Harang signed a one-year, $3.5 million deal with the Padres in

December that includes a mutual option and a $500,000 buyout for

the 2012 season.

He won 16 games for the Cincinnati Reds in both 2006 and 2007,

but was only 18-38 with a 4.71 ERA the past three seasons.

”I feel great,” Harang said. ”I was joking around with

(catcher Nick Hundley) before I left San Diego. I went out for a

bullpen and the first pitch I threw right down the middle and I

split the plate and I said ‘OK, I’m ready for the season. Let’s


The Padres believe Harang can return to the form that helped him

lead the National League in wins, complete games (six) and

strikeouts (216) in 2006 and offer a veteran presence to a young

starting rotation that lost Jon Garland and Chris Young to free

agency during the offseason.

To do so, Harang will have to avoid injuries that have slowed

him since the 2008 season.

In 2008, Harang spent 32 days on the disabled list with a

strained right forearm. Harang then missed 42 games in the 2009

season after having surgery to remove his appendix and he was

limited to 22 appearances during the 2010 season because of a lower

back strain.

Padres manager Bud Black said Harang was in good shape when he

reported to spring training on Sunday.

”He’s had a very good offseason as far as training,” Black

said. ”He’s been extremely motivated to get back to a level of

performance that he was accustomed to for a number of years there

in Cincinnati. I think it’s a good fit.”