CINCINNATI -- Since departing the Reds as a free agent after the 2010 season, pitcher Aaron Harang has been at Great American Ball Park as a visiting player. But Friday marked the first time he had faced the Reds when he took the mound for the Mariners.
"Aaron was the ace of the staff," said Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo, who arrived in 2006 and is the team's longest-tenured player. "I got off to a good start, and obviously, there was some camaraderie you're going to have amongst a couple of guys here. Especially for a lot of the few years here in the beginning, it was just him and I running out quality starts. We had guys hurt all the time and guys coming up from Triple-A.
"We just didn't have a solid staff we could depend on. We could really only depend on each other there for a while. I became a close to him and had a great time living in this locker room beside him."
Harang made 213 starts for Cincinnati from 2003-10 and had a 75-80 record with a 4.28 ERA. He led the National League in 2006 with 16 wins, 216 strikeouts and 35 starts.
Harang had a 32-17 record from 2006-07, his two best seasons in Cincinnati, but was a combined 18-38 over his final three seasons. Arroyo believed Harang deserved more appreciation from the fans.
"I think part of it was the two or three really good years he had here got stained a bit by what he did the last few years and just being injury prone, which wasn't normal of him," Arroyo said. "The numbers he put up in the years before that were absolutely astonishing."
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.