Cubs' Maholm weighs in on possible return to Bucs
By Karen Price
Published: Monday, July 23, 2012, 7:46 p.m.
Cubs left-hander Paul Maholm, who will start today, saw the irony in the Pirates' reported interest in trading for him.
“It would be ironic to leave as a free agent and then they wanted me back,” he said. “They are rumors, and we will see how it turns out. My next two starts are against them. It should be an interesting 10 days.”
Maholm, who is 4-0 with an 0.89 ERA in his past five games, also is slated to pitch against the Pirates on July 30 at Wrigley Field.
Maholm, who saw many of his former teammates Sunday night at a charity fundraiser on the South Side, is among a handful of players being shopped by the rebuilding Cubs. He would be owed about $1.75 million on the remainder of a one-year, $4.75 million deal he signed in the offseason.
Familiarity is one plus for the Pirates, for whom Maholm pitched from 2005-11.
“I don't think they'd have to send out scouts to see me,” he said.
• Maholm received a no-decision when he faced the Pirates for the first time May 26, allowing two runs and four hits in five innings. Asked whether pitchers have an advantage against former teammates or vice versa, Pirates outfielder Garrett Jones said it's difficult to say. “I think maybe the pitcher because he's seen us hit a lot more and knows hitters' tendencies. But then again, we know the kind of stuff he has and how he likes to pitch, so it's an interesting battle. ... He's a good pitcher, he's been pitching well. We're happy he's doing well, but when we face him we're going to try to take it to him and score as many runs off him as we can.”
• Surging right-hander Jeff Karstens and catcher Michael McKenry are thriving as a battery. In his past three starts with McKenry behind the plate, Karstens is 3-0 with an 0.82 ERA. In his lone start with Rod Barajas catching in that span, Karstens allowed four runs in seven innings. With manager Clint Hurdle wanting to keep Barajas fresh, don't be surprised to see the Karstens-McKenry tandem down the road. “We will see how it plays out,” Hurdle said. “I like the results we've gotten. That could be a mix that works out for us.”
• Jordy Mercer took a four-game hitting streak (4 for 8) into the series opener against the Cubs, with three doubles and a triple. Four of his five major league hits have gone for extra bases. “This is awesome,” he said. “It's pretty cool to be a Pirate right now, to tell you the truth.”
— John Grupp and Karen Price
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.