Pitchers overowned due to name value 

July, 8, 2013

Name value can be a dangerous thing in fantasy baseball; it often drives owners to trust a player longer than they should. Washington Nationals right-hander Dan Haren, for example, used to be a top-10 fantasy pitcher, an excellent innings-eater who delivered wins, strikeouts, ERA and WHIP on a consistent basis, regardless of which league he pitched in. Then came 2012, things fell apart and he hasn’t been able to fix them since. Haren has been on the disabled list for a sore pitching shoulder and is scheduled to come off the DL for Monday’s outing in Philadelphia on ESPN, but by no means should fantasy owners trust him.

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Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports Dan Haren has lost his past six decisions and will be seeking his first win since May 9.

Regardless, Haren is owned in more than a quarter of ESPN’s standard leagues, despite nasty numbers that point to a pitcher in obvious decline. For those who pay attention to walks and strikeouts, Haren does look enticing there, but it’s surely muted by 19 home runs allowed -- one off the big league lead -- and a brutal hit rate. Haren is far too hittable these days, even in the National League and against average offenses. He throws right-handed, but somehow right-handed hitters are mashing him for a .330 batting average, .960 OPS and 12 home runs, teeing off on what is generally some variation of a fastball under 90 mph. From a strict sense, Haren should lower his ERA from its current mark of 6.15, making him seem like a modest buy-low option, but this doesn’t mean he’ll be anywhere near as valuable as in the past. Haren’s closing in on 2,000 innings before turning 33 and, well, that’s a dangerous combination.