CINCINNATI -- There is little room for sentimentality when assembling a postseason roster, but the Reds found some to end the regular season. Aaron Harang, the longest tenured Reds player and the starting pitcher who's gotten the ball the last five Opening Days, has rather dicey chances of being one of the 25 players going to the playoffs. But after Saturday's 7-4 win over the Brewers, manager Dusty Baker revealed that Harang would replace Edinson Volquez, who was named the starter for Game 1 of the National League Division Series, and start Sunday's regular-season finale. All indications are that it could be Harang's last start in a Cincinnati uniform. "He's been here for a number of years. We think he deserves to start tomorrow," Baker said.
Before the news of his start was known, Harang wasn't sweating the outcome of the postseason roster decisions. "I haven't heard anything," Harang said. "There's nothing I can really do about it. It's up to Dusty [Baker], Bryan Price and Walt Jocketty to figure out the best possible players to take." Harang is 6-7 with a 5.25 ERA in 21 games, including 19 starts this season. He lost his spot in the rotation and has pitched sparingly from the bullpen. He hasn't pitched in a game since taking a line drive off his right ankle on Sept. 22 at Milwaukee. It left him with a bruise, but he's now fine to play. He's thrown off a bullpen mound a couple of times. If Harang didn't make the postseason roster, how would that be received? "I haven't really thought about it. I don't know," he said. "Of course I want to be in there, and be on the field participating and helping out." Harang has 212 starts in a Reds uniform since 2003 and had a 32-17 record with a 3.75 ERA over his two best seasons in 2006-07. Over the last three seasons, he's gone a combined 18-38 with a 4.33 ERA. In the final guaranteed season of a four-year, $36.5-million contract, the 32-year-old Harang isn't expected to return next season. The club holds a $12.75-million option that carries a $2-million buyout. But the parting of ways won't likely be without some emotion. One of the truly good guys in the game, Harang and his family became heavily involved in community service activities around Cincinnati. Like his postseason limbo, Harang isn't dwelling on what's ahead for him in the offseason. "I have no clue. I'm going home [to San Diego], no matter what," Harang said. "My wife is six months pregnant with twins, right now. That's what I will be doing this offseason and that's at the top of the priority list, making sure everything is good with that and she gets through it."