JUPITER, Fla. — Dan Haren pitched six innings on Tuesday against the Miami Marlins, and the right-hander won’t start another game until Friday, April 5 in Cincinnati.
The fact that there will be nine days between his last spring start and his first of the season does not concern the right-hander, as long he’s done with his Grapefruit League stint.
“When you first get out there in spring training, the adrenaline and everything is there,” Haren said. “And then it just gets lower and lower. It comes to a point where you just want to get your pitch count up and get out of there healthy.”
Haren had mixed results on Tuesday.
At one point he’d set down nine straight batters and 12 of 13, but he also surrendered four home runs on a windy day in Jupiter (including two to Giancarlo Stanton) and was most annoyed at himself for a two-out walk to Adeiny Hechavarria in the fifth inning that was followed by a home run by Chris Coghlan.
He finished the day having allowed five earned runs on seven hits and a walk with three strikeouts.
“I thought he threw the ball all right,” Johnson said. “He said he found out which hitters he didn’t really want to come in on. He got his work in. He finished the spring in good shape. He’ll be ready to go.”
Haren said one of his biggest worries this spring was how his body would handle the workload. In spring training, pitchers are often tasked with more, physically, than at most points during the season — whether it’s fielding drills or running or hitting — and Haren wanted to find a routine that would work for him between starts.
That even extended to how often he was stretched out in the training room, to keep him feeling as strong as possible.
After seven weeks in Viera, he thinks he’s found a pattern that works.
“I feel really good,” he said. “There was a point in the middle of spring where I was doing a little too much. So I backed off, adjusted a few things, and in the last like two weeks it’s felt really good. I’ve got the routine down here for a five-day period. I’m ready to go, for sure.”
Haren was unsure if he’d throw an extended bullpen session or a simulated game before his first regular-season start, and he couldn’t remember a time where he started on so many days of rest, but he wasn’t worried about the layoff.
“The extra time isn’t the worst thing in the world,” Haren said. “It’s a long, grueling season, so a couple extra days here and there is not bad.”