Reds move pitcher Harang to bullpen

BY foxsports • September 10, 2010

Aaron Harang is headed to the Cincinnati Reds' bullpen.

The right-hander lost his spot in the rotation on Friday, perhaps the final move for his career in Cincinnati. He was sidelined by back spasms for two months. In two starts since he was activated off the disabled list, Harang gave up seven runs and 12 hits in 6 1-3 innings.

The Reds are trying to set up their rotation for a stretch run to make the playoffs, and Harang is the odd man out.

''He's going to the bullpen,'' manager Dusty Baker said. ''That's where he started in Oakland, so he has a pretty good idea what he has to do about warming up. That's the way it's been lately - his nemesis inning has been the third or fourth - so if he comes in middle- or long-relief, that could be a useful situation for him and for us.''

The 32-year-old pitcher is in the final year of his contract, making $12.5 million. There's a club option for next season at $12.75 million with a $2 million buyout, making it unlikely he will be back.

Right-hander Edinson Volquez will take Harang's spot and start Saturday against Pittsburgh. Volquez has been erratic since he returned in July after missing a year because of reconstructive elbow surgery. The Reds sent him to the minors to work on his delivery and brought him back on Tuesday.

In two starts for Class A Dayton, Volquez had a 1.38 ERA in 13 innings. He felt he got his delivery in sync.

''My delivery was better in the bullpen and in the last two games in Dayton,'' Volquez said. ''I was more consistent throwing strikes.''

The Reds also activated outfielder Jim Edmonds and right-hander Mike Leake off the disabled list on Friday. Edmonds has been sidelined since Aug. 24 by a strained abdominal muscle. Leake went on the DL on Aug. 27 with a weak pitching shoulder.

Edmonds said he can't run much, so he's still limited. The Reds have been trying to go easy with Leake, a rookie who went from Arizona State directly to the majors. He's been rebuilding the strength in his shoulder the last couple of weeks.

''He'll be available to pinch-hit, pinch-run - pinch-everything,'' Baker said. ''He told me he could play the outfield in an emergency. That would be a real emergency. I didn't mention pitching on purpose. He wasn't supposed to pick up a ball for two weeks.''

Shortstop Orlando Cabrera will play sparingly during the Reds' seven-game homestand against Pittsburgh and Arizona, hoping strained abdominal muscles heal completely. He was sidelined from Aug. 3 to Sept. 3 with the injury. He played in three games during a recent road trip, and the muscles got sore.

The Reds led the NL Central by five games heading into the weekend.

''We're thinking about the near future and we're talking about the playoffs, so I'm going to try to take as many days off as I can and be ready for when we get close to the playoffs,'' Cabrera said. ''We have a comfortable lead now and we're playing teams that are under .500, so this is a good time to sit down. We're going to be playing in October, and I want to be ready.''

AP freelance writer Mark Schmetzer in Cincinnati contributed to this report.

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