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Harang called up by Mets, to start Thursday

Harang called up by Mets, to start Thursday

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NEW YORK -- Aaron Harang couldn't get comfortable in the American League. After pitching in the National League for nine full seasons, the right-hander faced difficulty adjusting to his new surroundings after he joined the Mariners. That manifested itself in Harang's subpar results.

"They always say there's kind of a transition period," Harang said. "I had some real good games that I threw, and then I had some bad ones."

Now he's back in his familiar NL.

The Mets selected Harang's contract from Triple-A Las Vegas on Monday and slotted him into the rotation. Harang said he's going to start New York's series finale against the Nationals on Thursday.

The Mets have a doubleheader against Miami on Saturday, so they needed another starter for at least one turn through the rotation. Presumably, the team would push Jon Niese back one day to Friday, and then have Carlos Torres and Daisuke Matsuzaka each start a game of Saturday's doubleheader. But the Mets haven't officially announced their exact plan for their rotation over the next week.

Having Harang also gives New York the opportunity to spread out Zack Wheeler's starts as the season wears down.

Harang was one of three players to join the team from Triple-A on Monday. New York also recalled outfielder Mike Baxter and selected the contract of catcher Juan Centeno from Las Vegas.

In 22 starts with Seattle, Harang went 5-11 with a 5.76 ERA. In four of his final eight outings, the 35-year-old yielded seven runs. The Mariners ended up designating Harang for assignment on Aug. 26, and released him four days later.

On Aug. 31, the Mets signed him to a Minor League contract, not only giving Harang the chance to pitch again this season, but also the opportunity to join a starting rotation.

"I think the biggest thing was to be in a rotation, and hopefully be the veteran to help answer questions for the younger guys," said Harang, who's also pitched in the Majors with the Athletics, Reds, Padres and Dodgers. "Just to finish out my season on a strong note I think was the biggest thing."

Harang last pitched for Las Vegas on Saturday in Game 4 of the Pacific Coast League semi-finals. He allowed three runs on six hits with two walks and six strikeouts over six innings. Starting Thursday's game keeps him in line to start on normal rest.

Harang said when the Mariners released him, other teams inquired about signing him, but only the Mets offered the chance to start. Otherwise he would've been in bullpens with relievers who already had their set roles.

"We had some other teams, but the biggest thing here was getting to finish off the season in a rotation," Harang said.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. Chris Iseman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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