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Spasms push back Harang's next start

Spasms push back Harang's next start

CHICAGO -- It's been a miserably tough season for Aaron Harang, and his 2008 became even more trying after the right-hander's scheduled start on Thursday was pushed back because of neck spasms.

Instead of facing the Cubs, Harang will now start Friday's series opener vs. the Rockies at Coors Field. Josh Fogg, originally scheduled on Friday, will take Harang's place and start on Thursday.

Harang woke up with the neck pain Tuesday morning.

"He couldn't turn his head," Reds pitching coach Dick Pole said. "I'm told it's better than when he first got here."

If Harang continues to improve, he will throw in a side session on Wednesday.

Fogg, who is 2-5 with a 7.71 ERA this season, last pitched on Sunday and worked two scoreless innings of relief. His start was moved back originally so Edinson Volquez could get an extra day of rest. Volquez is scheduled to start on Saturday and could move up a day if Harang isn't ready, Pole said.

Following 16-win seasons in 2006 and 2007, it's all gone wrong for Harang this season. He is 3-13 with a 5.59 ERA in 22 games, including 21 starts, and is two starts removed from being out a month because of a sore right forearm.

In those two starts, Harang has allowed 16 earned runs and 16 hits, including six home runs, over 7 1/3 innings for a 19.64 ERA. He lasted 3 1/3 innings and gave up eight runs in Sunday's 9-3 loss to the Cardinals.

Some fans have wondered if Harang should be shut down for the season and have him start fresh next season. Pole didn't think that would happen.

"We've talked to Aaron and that wasn't a good idea," Pole said. "If he's able to pitch well the last month, it would give him some success to build on. If he shut it down, it'd leave a bad taste in his mouth all winter."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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