Tag: Paul Maholm

Paul Maholm Injury: Updates on Dodgers Pitcher’s Knee and Recovery

The NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers received some bad news on Saturday, as the team’s official Twitter account reported pitcher Paul Maholm‘s MRI revealed an ACL tear:  

Bleacher Report’s Scott Miller has an update on Maholm and the Dodgers’ corresponding roster move:

Maholm suffered his injury on Friday during an 8-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs. In the early hours on Saturday morning, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reported the injury as it happened:

After the game, manager Don Mattingly feared the worst during a press conference, via Michael Lananna of MLB.com:

“Paul’s is the one that’s pretty serious, it seems, like the way he came off the field and was moving around. He felt it the step before he got to the bag. He was walking good, but then we he got to the steps, it kind of gave out.”

Now, roughly 13 hours later, the pitcher’s season is all but over.

In his first year with the Dodgers, Maholm hasn’t quite lived up to expectations. He’s currently holding a 4.84 ERA, allowing 82 hits and 44 runs while striking out 34 batters in 70.1 innings pitched. He started eight games this season, earning a record of 1-5.

The injury comes at a terrible time for Los Angeles, as the team is already thin in the pitching department. Pedro Moura of the Orange County Register sure thinks so:

Despite Maholm’s struggles, this injury should quickly put the Dodgers on the market for another southpaw reliever, should he opt for season-ending surgery, while the team continues on its bid for the postseason.

For Maholm, it will be a long road back to full fitness following such a devastating injury.

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Dodgers Set Franchise Record by Holding Opponents Hitless for 17 Innings

The Los Angeles Dodgers recently recorded 17 consecutive innings of hitless pitching, setting a team record since the franchise moved to Los Angeles, per the team’s official Twitter account.

Dodgers hurler Hyun-Jin Ryu followed up Sunday’s no-hitter from Josh Beckett by tossing seven perfect innings to begin Monday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds. The streak actually began Saturday night when Paul Maholm held the Philadelphia Phillies without a hit in the bottom of the eighth inning in an eventual 5-3 Phillies victory.

Ryu had a perfect game going through the first seven innings of Monday’s contest until Reds third baseman Todd Frazier led off the top of the eighth with a double down the third base line. Cincinnati went on to score three runs in the inning, all of which were charged to Ryu.

Reds outfielder Chris Heisey hit a sacrifice fly off of the South Korean pitcher, then reliever Brian Wilson allowed both of Ryu‘s inherited runners to score. Closer Kenley Jansen ended the threat with a four-out save in the 4-3 victory.

Prior to Frazier’s double, Maholm had allowed the last hit to a Dodgers opponent, a two-out single by Phillies outfielder Ben Revere in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game.

According to Elias Sports Bureau via ESPN, the 17 innings of hitless pitching matched the longest such streak in Major League Baseball since the Dodgers’ crosstown rivals, the Los Angeles Angels, accomplished the same feat on May 1-3, 2012. As one might expect, the Angels’ 17-inning run also included a no-hitter, one courtesy of long-time staff ace Jered Weaver.


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5 Realistic Moves the New York Mets Should Have Made This Offseason

Playing armchair general manager is often met with skepticism. In an ideal world, the New York Mets would have outbid the Seattle Mariners for Robinson Cano’s services, subsequently adding one of the premier offensive threats at a notoriously light-hitting position.

But given the Mets’ small-market approach, inking Cano was never in the realm of possibility—even if the team did buy him lunch (per the NY Post’s Ken Davidoff).

Yet, there were a number of low-cost, high-reward acquisitions other teams executed that the Mets could have also made.

For instance, despite posting comparable three-year averages to many of the highest-earning starters this offseason, Paul Maholm only garnered a one-year, $1.5 million contract. Given the mediocre Plan B rotation options behind Jenrry Mejia, the Mets should have invested in Maholm.

Read on to see the five realistic moves the New York Mets should have made this offseason.


All statistics and payroll information sourced from Baseball Reference, FanGraphs and Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

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Atlanta Braves: Grades for Every Player in April

The Atlanta Braves (16-9) have all but wrapped up the first month of the 2013 season.

Highs include a 10-game winning streak and a sweep of the National League East preseason favorite, Washington Nationals. The low point came over the weekend as the Detroit Tigers swept the Braves.The tough series with the Tigers knocked a few players’ grades down a letter.

Here’s a look at the April edition of every player’s’ grade in 2013.

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Do MLB Cy Young Winners Always Get off to Hot Starts?

Who’s the hottest pitcher in the majors? There’s Yu Darvish, the Texas Rangers right-hander who nearly threw a perfect game his first time out. Or maybe it’s Atlanta Braves lefty Paul Maholm, who is 3-0 and has thrown 20.1 scoreless innings.

But we can’t forget about Matt Harvey, the New York Mets righty who’s the first pitcher since 1900 to win each of his first three starts while notching 25 strikeouts and allowing six or fewer hits, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Indeed, no pitcher in baseball is off to a hotter start right now—or maybe ever—than Harvey.

Each of those three hurlers has been Cy Young-worthy so far, but frankly, it seems way too early for any award discussion. Or is it?

Which brings us to the question: Do Cy Young winners always get off to hot starts?

When we explored whether Most Valuable Players always get off to hot starts, the answer was a resounding yes. But let’s analyze the arms and see what we can find out.

First, let’s refresh your memory with a list of the Cy Young winners since 2000:

*For the purposes of this research, we’ll ignore Eric Gagne’s 2003 because comparing starters to relievers is more or less futile. For the record, though, Gagne did pitch extremely well that April: In 14.1 innings, the Dodgers closer allowed no runs on six hits and three walks with 24 whiffs. Oh, and he tallied eight saves.

From 2000 through 2012, there were 25 individual Cy Young seasons by starting pitchers, and here are their average stats for the month of April:

That translates to a 3-1 record with a 2.85 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and a 37-10 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 37 innings in the season’s first month.

Pretty nasty.

But what’s interesting is that not all Cy Young winners are created equal when it comes to April performances.

Focusing on ERA and WHIP, 11 of the 25 individual seasons (or nearly half) actually have been worse than “Cy Young average”—again, a 2.85 ERA and 1.12 WHIP—in both stats through April:

Granted, neither stat provides a perfect measure of just how good—or in this case, ungood—a pitcher has been, but taken together, ERA and WHIP give us at least some indication.

What do you notice about the table above? How ’bout the fact that in just about every season since 2000, at least one eventual Cy Young winner has had a so-so (or worse) first month? In fact, 10 of the past 12 seasons featured an award-winning arm who got off on the wrong foot.

But if that’s the case—if a hot start isn’t necessary—then how do these Cy Young winners manage to, well, win the Cy Young exactly?

By getting better as the season progresses, silly.

Let’s shift gears to another statistic: OPS allowed (on base-plus-slugging percentage). You may recall our old metric friends, sOPS+ and tOPS+, from the MVP study. In short…

  • sOPS+ is a version of OPS that is weighted to league average, which is 100; for pitchers, an sOPS+ below 100 is better than league average (i.e., good)
  • tOPS+ is a version of OPS that is weighted to compare a pitcher’s OPS allowed in a given period of time against his OPS allowed for the entirety of that same season; similarly, a tOPS+ below 100 means a pitcher’s OPS allowed was better in that time frame than it was compared to the season as a whole.

If your eyes just glazed over, these tables will make it easier to digest. This one shows the April sOPS+ for each Cy Young winner over the past 13 seasons:

Basically, the boxes that are shaded green indicate that the pitcher’s OPS allowed in April was better than league average, whereas any boxes shaded red indicate worse than league average. While only four eventual Cy Young winners posted a below-average OPS allowed in April, there also were a handful of others that were only slightly above-average (i.e., Johan Santana in 2004).

In other words, on the whole, these pitchers were very good compared to the league, but they weren’t immune to slow starts.

By the way: What Cliff Lee did in April of 2008 (.361 OPS against), as well as what Pedro Martinez (.475) and Randy Johnson did in April of 2000 (.431), should be illegal.

This next table shows their tOPS+ in April:

Same story: Green is good (above-average), but red is bad (below-average). Except this time, we’re comparing each pitcher’s April OPS allowed to his OPS allowed for the full season in which he won the Cy Young.

You’ll notice a lot more red. In fact, 16 of the 25 Aprils are crimson, meaning a majority of the Cy Young winners since 2000 actually were below-average—for them—as far as OPS allowed in the first month of their award-winning campaign.

What does this all mean? Well, for one thing, it proves that just because Yu Darvish, Paul Maholm and Matt Harvey are in line for crazy-good Aprils, it doesn’t guarantee that some slower-starting ace isn’t lying in wait to pitch his way to the 2013 Cy Young Award.

Because for starters, it’s not always how you start.


All stats come from Baseball Reference.

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Atlanta Braves: Starting Pitchers the Braves Should Be Targeting

With less than 72 hours remaining before the trade deadline, the Atlanta Braves are not having much luck when it comes to adding a starter to their rotation. They thought they landed Ryan Dempster from the Cubs, but Dempster was able to veto that deal. Since then Zack Greinke and Wandy Rodriguez were each dealt and Matt Garza got hurt.

That leaves high-priced options like James Shields and Josh Johnson as the top pitchers on the market, and both of those guys have been struggling this year. Francisco Liriano is even more unpredictable and wouldn’t be much of an upgrade over the guys the Braves want to replace in the rotation.

This article takes a look at three guys the Braves should consider adding as a “plan B” after being unable to land one of the big guns without mortgaging the future. None of these guys will front a playoff rotation, but all would be an upgrade over the current back end of the rotation and will offer some consistency.

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Offense Erupts as Chicago Cubs End Slide with 6-1 Win

The Chicago Cubs poured it on the Reds 6-1 today as their bats finally came alive to end their losing streak at six.

Paul Maholm earned his first victory in a Cubs uniform, and the Cubs were finally able to prosper with runners in scoring position.

Here is what we learned from this Cubs win.


Paul Maholm looked great: 

Maholm looked masterful all day as he kept Reds hitters off-balanced as they managed only four hits off of the lefty.  What was impressive with Maholm today is he threw fourteen first pitch strikes to the twenty six hitters he faced as he was able to induce seven ground-ball outs.  

Maholm will never be a power pitcher, which is evident by his low strikeout total in in this outing with five, but with his change in pitch speed to keep hitters guessing, he can continue to have outings like this more often. 


Steve Clevenger should start:   

Clevenger is taking full advantage of his playing time and even though he had not played a game since April 17th, he looked extremely comfortable behind the plate and with the bat in his hand.  

He provided an offensive spark the Cubs desperately needed as he went 3-for-4 while driving in a run to boost his batting average to a whooping .588.  It is time for Sveum to take a closer look at who should be starting as his catcher.


Cubs were 5 for 15 with Runners in Scoring Position: 

The Cubs were finally able to drive runners in scoring position including four two-out RBIs.  Hopefully, this trend continues.


Starin Castro committed his seventh error: 

You can hear the moaning all across Chicago as Castro had two errors in today’s contest.  In spring training, we were told about the improvements the Cubs made on Castro’s defense, but we are still very eager to see where this hard work is at.  

If it was not for the Cubs atrocious record overshadowing his poor fielding performance, he would be sitting on the hot seat everyday.   

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Complete Game: Pittsburgh Pirates Dominate Chicago Cubs

We hear it all the time from coaches after a win: “We played a great game, got a much-needed win but we’re still searching for that complete effort—all facets of the game.”

You wont hear that from Clint Hurdle for awhile.

The Pirates thoroughly destroyed the Cubs 10-0 Saturday afternoon, belting out 10 hits of which four left the park.  The Pirates started the scoring in the top of the fourth when Steve Pearce drilled an 87 mph fastball up the middle for a two run single. 

Two batters later, Ronny Cedeno widened the margin with a three-run shot to right field, extending the lead to 5-0. 

The Pirates tacked on two runs in the sixth off of a pair of solo shots from Lyle Overbay and Chris Snyder. 

In the seventh inning, Andrew McCutchen destroyed an outside fastball into the right field seats, extending the lead to nine. 

An RBI double by Garrett Jones in the ninth put salt in the wound, as the Pirates scored double-digit runs for the second time this season.  

The pitching, as it has been all season, was spectacular, as Pirates starter Paul Maholm tossed a three-hit shutout and lowered his ERA by .47 points. It was Maholm’s third shutout of his career. 

Battling problems with his teammates giving him little run support all season, Maholm saved his best outing for a 10-run effort by the hitters.  Heading into the game, Maholm was the second “unluckiest” starter in the majors with his offense averaging just 1.9 runs per start.  Pearce’s two-run single to start the scoring onslaught was more than enough for Maholm. 


  • Andrew McCutchen’s home run was his ninth of the year, leading the team.
  • Steve Pearce left the game with a calf injury after scoring on Cedeno’s three-run home run in the fourth.  Brandon Wood took his place.
  • Paul Maholm was the only Pirates starter who did not record a hit.
  • May 28, 2011: Pirates record 15th road win of the season.  It took until September 12, 2010 for the Pirates to record their 15th road win last season.
  • Per Root Sports, Pedro Alvarez will rehab in Bradenton but will not be allowed to run after hitting the ball.
  • Pirates will go for their first three-game sweep of the season tomorrow.  Karstens vs. Dempster

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MLB: 5 Pitchers Who Should Bounce Back in 2011

Up until the recent wave of new-age statistics were introducted to baseball fans around the globe, the only way fans could decide what type of season a pitcher had was by looking at wins, ERA and WHIP. Over the last decade, however, stats such as batting average on balls in play (BABIP) and home run to fly ball ratio (HR/FB) have allowed fans to get a better glimpse into which pitchers were plain bad and which were just having some bad luck.

So which 5 pitchers are the best bets to bounce back in 2011? Let’s examine the numbers.

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Pittsburgh Pirates: How Do They Solve a Problem Like Paul Maholm?

This is the last full year of the Pirates club’s control of Paul Maholm.

True, they have a club option in 2012 for $9.75 million in what would be his first free-agent year. That compares to $5.75 million in 2011 and would be a payment that reflects free-agent, not “controlled” status.

Maholm is arguably the “ace” on what passes for a Pirates pitching staff. But that’s only on a team that’s perennially starved for good pitchers. On another team, he might be more like a third starter.

On that basis, Maholm would be (just) worth the $9.75 million in 2012. That would represent a barely above league-average compensation for a barely above league-average starter.

But the Pirates, a low-budget team, “never” pay market price for talent. And the $9.75 million would make Maholm the highest-paid player on the team, eating up roughly one-fifth of a normal annual budget.

For that kind of money, the Pirates would expect “lights out,” or “true” first-starter performance. Someone that could go against the likes of Roy Halladay or Johan Santana with at least a 50-50 chance of winning (as Zach Duke, in fact, did on his better nights out).

Even for the Pirates, $9.75 million would be a bargain for that level of production.

More likely, Maholm will run true to form and perform at a middle of rotation level. (His 2010 FIP, or sabermetric ERA of 4.18 supports this theory better than his actual ERA, which was nearly a whole point higher at 5.10.) That is, he will not be good enough for the money in Pittsburgh, but would offer an acceptable risk-reward profile to other teams. In this case, he would be traded, probably for prospects.

What’s left in the rotation would likely include last year’s star, James McDonald, a recovering Ross Ohlendorf and a re-emerging Charlie Morton. Kevin Correia, who figures to be a right-handed “Zach Duke” (although we don’t yet know which year’s), figures to fill a spot toward the back of the rotation, even though he, like last year’s Duke, was named opening day starter.

Candidates for the vacated fifth slot would include Jeff Karstens, Brian Burres and a re-started Brad Lincoln with the other two being long relievers or spot starters.

Trading Maholm and leaving a slot to be filled by the likes of the last three named players would not be pleasant. But unlike some of their predecessors (e.g.Oliver Perez), they are all legitimate fifth-starter options, which is to say that this is a more acceptable course of action than would otherwise be the case.

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