GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Aaron Harang heard plenty of good things about the environment surrounding the Indians before signing a Minor League contract with the team earlier this spring. After more than a week with his new club, the veteran pitcher has enjoyed the experience.
What has impressed Harang the most is that -- for all the fun the players have on a daily basis -- the team gets serious when it is time to go to work.
"I've been having a good time. This is a good clubhouse," Harang said. "You've got veteran guys who try to keep the clubhouse loose. Obviously, you can hear the music bumping in here and everything else in the morning. It's just a very lax clubhouse, but also a very serious one when it comes to going out and making sure that, once you get outside, it's business. It's, 'Let's get it done. Let's do it right.'"
Harang -- one of five candidates for the fifth spot in the Tribe's rotation -- has used the early portion of camp to work on maintaining a consistent release point in his delivery. He praised veteran slugger Jason Giambi, who offered helpful feedback after standing in to face the right-hander during his first live batting practice of the spring.
"Giambi noticed I was flying open," said Harang, who signed with Cleveland on Feb. 15. "So now it's just making sure I'm not flying open at all. From the first BP to the second one, him and [Nick Swisher] both said there was a big difference in the way the ball was coming out. That minor little adjustment worked well."
Last season, the 35-year-old Harang went 5-12 with a 5.40 ERA in 143 1/3 innings between stints with the Mariners and Mets. Cleveland was intrigued by Harang's durability, which is evidenced by the fact that he has logged an average of 179 innings over the past 10 seasons. Prior to the last year, Harang went 24-17 with a 3.62 ERA in 350 1/3 innings across the 2011-12 seasons.
"He's a veteran pitcher that knows how to pitch," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "I think he feels kind of good about himself. We're looking forward to this. We were really almost ... too honest with him when we talked to him. It's the same with other guys.
"It's like you almost want to paint the picture a little more bleak than it is, because the last thing you want to do is manipulate a guy to get him into camp. What we did promise him, though, is he would get his innings, because that's important. And he will."