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6/25/1982 (34 y, 7 m, 26 d)
2003 June Amateur Draft - Round: 1, Pick: 8, Overall: 8, Team: Pittsburgh Pirates
$0.2M / 1 Years (2015)
Maholm was released by the Reds on Monday. (3/30/2015)
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(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
Maholm's ERA rose seven-tenths of a run, from 3.71 in 2008 to 4.44 in 2009. What changed? Very little, actually. The 27-year-old lefty posted a 1.98 K/BB ratio this past year, compared to 2.21 in 2008. Maholm continued to keep the ball in the dirt, with a ground-ball rate more than 52%. His 3.83 FIP in 2009 was lower than his 4.15 mark from 2008. The big difference for Maholm was the defense behind him: his BABIP skyrocketed from .289 in 2008 to .325 in 2009. He used his eclectic mix of pitches to good effect, tossing a high-80s sinker at a career-low rate while giving batters plenty of low-80s sliders, mid-70s curveballs, and low-80s change-ups. His slider has emerged as an out-pitch, as it was worth nearly three runs above average per 100 throws. That was the fourth-highest run value among starting pitchers.
The Year Ahead:
There's nothing eye-popping about Maholm's skill set, but he has established himself as a dependable starter. He posts modest strikeout rates, limits the free passes, and exhibits strong ground-ball tendencies. Maholm's ERA has fluctuated wildly over the past few seasons, but his controllable skills have remained the same. Fantasy owners who draft Maholm in 2010 should expect something close to his career 4.33 ERA. On one hand, his BABIP will almost certainly drop. But on the other, his home run/fly ball rate is likely to rise. Only 7.3% of the fly balls hit against Maholm left the yard in 2009, well below the 11-12% average for starters and his career 10.9% mark. This lefty has little breakout potential, but owners could do far worse filling out their pitching staffs in the later rounds. (David Golebiewski)
Maholm is one of the league's Official Ground-ball Pitchers™. In his 981.1 career innings, he has a ground-ball rate of 52.7% -- good for 12th among all starters with at least 500 innings since 2005 (when Maholm debuted). Certain pitchers at the top of that list -- Felix Hernandez, Chris Carpenter, Roy Halladay -- are legitimate aces in both real and fantasy baseball. Other pitchers -- Derek Lowe, Aaron Cook, Jake Westbrook -- can be perfectly reasonable contributors in the real game while distinctly underwhelming in the fantasy version. The difference, of course, is the strikeouts. None of the latter ground-ballers strike out even six per nine -- and that's the case for Maholm, too, who has a 5.58 K/9 on his career. Entering his age-29 season, he's unlikely to improve considerably in this area. Moreover, he plays for the Pirates, who're unlikely to provide even league-average run support this season. (Carson Cistulli)
The Quick Opinion:
Will likely be "ace" of Pirates, but ground-ball-centric approach makes him better real-life than fantasy pitcher.
Maholm is now a Cub. The lefty pitched far better than his 6-14 record might indicate, with an ERA under four and a WHIP under 1.30, which makes him a reasonably compelling candidate for the back end of a real-life rotation, but an iffy option in fantasy. He gives up far too many line drives, but at least the home run issues he had earlier in his career seem to be largely under control. If he could get his strikeout rate up into the seven-per-nine range, he’d be a really compelling sleeper. Unfortunately, Maholm has never been close to that mark, striking out six per nine just once in his career. He’s a deep NL-only option at best. (Dan Wade)
The Quick Opinion:
His low strikeout rate means that Maholm needs the Cubs defense to be decent behind him, but that offense won't win him many games anyway. He's a deep leaguer at best.
Paul Maholm underplayed his FIP from 2007 through 2011. Entering 2013, he aims to have his third straight year of the opposite trend. In a season split with the Cubs and Braves, Maholm managed an ERA beneath his FIP for the second-straight season, which led to a deadline trade to the contending Braves. Maholm set a career-high in strikeout rate, and nearly hit a career-low in walk rate -- both very encouraging signs for a pitcher who had an uncharacteristically high home run per fly ball rate. It is hard to say which version of Paul Maholm will appear in 2013 -- the FIP-beating or FIP-beaten pitcher -- but for a guy who will likely be taken in the latest rounds and lowest bids of the draft, he makes for a safe and wise gamble. Do not expect any roster-carrying production, but instead 170 decent, if not good, innings. (
The Quick Opinion:
Maholm had a 3.67 ERA through 31 starts, and his career-best 3.87 SIERA suggests he could maintain his strong performance through a second season. He will be 31 in 2012, and his image as an innings eater took a hit in 2011 with a throwing-arm shoulder strain. But in most leagues, his value should be low enough to make him a mid-level steal.
Maholm, a free agent as of this writing, got out to a fast start in 2013. He managed an unusual number of strikeouts in April, but declined back to career averages in later months. He finished the season with a 4.41 ERA and had a home run problem for the second season in a row. The soft-tossing lefty is a stable pitcher who could help most major league rotations. He missed a couple games with a wrist injury but has been otherwise durable throughout his career. He usually pitches to a league average level, but his numbers aren't very useful to fantasy owners. He's below average in all four standard starter categories, which makes him hard to roster for anything but innings. (Brad Johnson)
The Quick Opinion:
Maholm is a stable real world pitcher, but his fantasy profile is extremely limited. He's not better than average in any standard category, which makes it hard to find any advantage to owning him.
If there are two things that Paul Maholm does well, it’s making starts and inducing ground balls. In each of his first eight full seasons as a starter in the majors, the left-hander started 25 or more games while spending no less than 150 innings on the hill in a single season. And while real baseball general managers value the consistency on the bump every five days, fake baseball general managers are a bit more concerned with wins, strikeouts, and ratios -- none of which Maholm provides exceptionally well. Most recently in 2014, the Dodgers featured Maholm both as a starter and out of the bullpen, but his season came to an abrupt end when the veteran southpaw tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) while covering first base. In 30 combined appearances last season, Maholm owned a 4.84 ERA, a 1.56 WHIP and a miniscule 1.9% strikeout minus walk rate. The numbers aren’t exciting and he doesn’t have a team at the time of this writing, so consider Maholm a reserve round pick at best in deeper “only” leagues. (
The Quick Opinion:
Maholm is expected to make a full recovery from an August surgery to repair a torn ACL, but the soft-tossing lefty will likely only carry value in deeper “only” depending on where he signs.
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Updated: Monday, February 20, 2017 11:40 AM ET
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