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Thursday, July 1, 2010
Clubhouse notes: Harden feels good

By Richard Durrett

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- It was an excited Rich Harden that was buzzing around the visiting clubhouse at Angel Stadium on Thursday. Harden had just completed a 58-pitch bullpen and felt good. And it wasn't the fact that his body felt good that pleased him. He said his mechanics were much improved, the product of working with pitching coach Mike Maddux and looking at video.

Harden said he felt better with his mechanics than he has all season, including spring training.

"I can't wait to get out there," Harden said. "I hate sitting here. I want to pitch. I want to pitch now. But I need to go to the bullpens and go out on a rehab. Mechanically, it's going good. I'm getting to where I want to be."

Harden said he threw all fastballs, working on location.

"When that's there and I'm able to locate that and getting on top of my fastball, everything else comes off of that," Harden said. "It's easy to pick everything else up. The ball is coming out of my hand as it should and I'm getting the ball down."

Harden said he made just a few minor changes to his mechanics, but it's made a difference.

"I've always been a feel pitcher and I'm getting that feel now," Harden said. "I feel great. I'm getting through the ball, getting behind it, using everything together. If it's coming out right, I'm using my legs and my core. That's where I need to be."

Other notes:

* Washington said Bengie Molina will likely start Friday's game against the Chicago White Sox. His plane is scheduled to land in Dallas tonight. Washington said he's excited to have someone of Molina's "presence" in the lineup and on the club. He praised the job Max Ramirez, the likely roster move for Molina, has done. "Max should be proud and everyone that's worked with him should be proud," Washington said. "He's improved since he's been here. He'll be down there and ready when we need him."

* Washington said Alexi Ogando would be the long reliever tonight if the club needs one.

* Washington said Omar Beltre "probably will" start the next time through the rotation. The manager said Beltre has the stuff to pitch in the major leagues.

"He settled down after he had all that energy and adrenaline in the first two innings," Washington said.