Dan Haren was of a rare breed -- he debuted in the majors in 2003, he stuck in the majors for good in 2005, and he never once went on the disabled list. Barry Zito never once went on the disabled list, until he did. Jon Garland never once went on the disabled list, until he did. Dan Haren managed to avoid this for a while, but Haren's impressive run of durability is over.
After his most recent ugly start, Haren acknowledged that he was feeling back discomfort, and that he'd been feeling back discomfort for much of the year. The Angels have made a move:
As expected Dan Haren was placed on 15-day DL because of lower-back stiffness. Reliever Kevin Jepsen called up from triple-A Salt Lake.— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) July 5, 2012
It's possible Haren could miss as few as two starts, which would be his first two missed starts of his career. Over his last five starts, he's posted an 8.67 ERA, and for the season overall he's posted a 4.86 ERA with reduced velocity. It makes sense that a bad back could've been costing Haren that little extra something that ordinarily makes him so special.
The Angels will be tested, as their starting depth isn't particularly strong, but it's not like Haren was all that strong either, so more important than who takes Haren's place is how quickly Haren recovers, and how he feels upon his return.