Name: Allen Harrington
DOB: July 3, 1986
A veteran of the Midwest League after dominating as a reliever in his professional debut, Harrington played multiple roles for the Wizards.
He began the season in long relief, earning three saves in the process, before being placed into the rotation. Effective in both roles, the left-hander posted a 3.59 ERA across 13 appearances, including eight starts.
The season before, Harrington notched a 1.74 ERA across 18 appearances and 41.1 innings with Fort Wayne. He was just beginning to settle in before the injury – tossing a two-hit shutout over five innings in his final start.
It was then that his elbow started bothering him. He went to Arizona to receive treatment in an effort to get back on the hill. That never happened.
By October, Harrington was put under the knife to repair the scar tissue to relieve the tendonitis he was feeling. On the positive side, Harrington is expected to be back by spring and at close to 100 percent.
"He was very good," Fort Wayne manager Doug Dascenzo said. "He was part of that 8-man deal when we were starting out the season. He was pitching well and then his elbow started bothering him a little bit, and he really never recovered from it. We're anxious to get him back throwing again; and to have a competitor like him on the mound and around the team is very nice to have."
A four-pitch repertoire follows the left-hander. He has a fastball that hits the high-80s that he can throw to both sides of the plate. While it is slightly below average, he uses it effectively and sets up his off-speed pitches with its location.
Harrington has a plus curveball that he will throw in any count, sending the breaking ball in to both righties and lefties. Its tight spin and late break make it a swing-and-miss offering.
The southpaw also twirls a slider – a pitch reserved for left-handed hitters. He has good command of the pitch but it will get loopy and is something that gives a hitter pause – another pitch to keep an eye out for.
Coming into his first professional season, Harrington didn't throw a changeup and never realized how important it was.
After the season, he put in the effort to make the changeup a quality pitch – coming to the realization that it would be essential for him to master, especially given his lack of velocity on the fastball.
Over the last year, Harrington's changeup has seen marked improvement. It is now a quality pitch that is getting better each time out. He has the confidence to use it and grasped what the Padres are preaching.
Its feel is the same as his fastball, making it that much more effective, and has the speed differential to get hitters leaking out in front.
Competitiveness is at the top of Harrington's trait list. He has a fiery attitude on the mound and does not give in to any hitter in any at-bat. It is that feistiness that propels him onward – to get better with each of his pitches and to continue to attack the strike zone.
"I guess that is just the intensity I carry around," Harrington said. "I try to turn the switch on and off from the mound and outside the white lines. It is just the intensity I have towards the game. You can't be scared of anyone. You have to attack people. You can't walk people. That is what you have to do to give your team a chance."
The big question is how will he bounce back?
Conclusion: Will he eventually need surgery? It seems that all the prospects that wait on surgery end up having it anyway. The cautious approach has not worked out well for the Padres but remains a necessity.
Harrington has four quality pitches and works hard at perfecting his trade. Surgery, therefore, would simply be a setback. He is the type of player every team wants close by – a guy who motivates other people with his infectious work ethic and winning demeanor. How soon the Padres will benefit depends on the status of his arm.
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