Ok this probably has as least as much to do with Beane as Geren but he's the one publicly making the decision.
Giving Haren the opening day start is good because he's the resident ace still around based on last year's performance. The decision to give Harden the 3rd spot rather than the second is the part that I like the best. Telling everybody that it's because he'll get the home opener is perfect. This seems fair to everyone involved and makes great baseball sense as well because of the injury risk that Harden presents.
Harden was put in the #3 hole because of the importance of the starters to provide consistency for the bullpen. I think many teams with poor rotations have a sort of domino effect when the starters come out of the game early a few days in a row and the bullpen gets taxed.
In my opinion Haren and then Blanton can be counted on for the most conistent innings on the staff. Loaiza has been an innings eater for a number of years but missed time last year. Before spring training started I wondered how they would line up the pitching staff and hoped they would do it the way they did.
#1 Haren - quality innings and long starts
#2 Loaiza - (hopefully) quality innings and (probably long starts)
#3 Harden - Best rate stats but has missed starts in the past
#4 Blanton - Consistently gets into the 6th and 7th inning but sometimes gets shelled.
#5 a big question mark at this point but can be skipped throughout the year.
I think one of Blanton's strengths would be that Geren can ask him for a long start if he knows the bullpen will need some rest and I think he can deliver. Am I crazy and thinking too far into this?