Pitcher Maholm's future with Bucs uncertain
Paul Maholm, the Pirates' most-tenured pitcher, may have pitched his final game with the club.
Maholm was shut down for the rest of the season Tuesday when he was moved to the 60-day disabled list.
The 29-year-old left-hander, who will enter free agency unless the Pirates exercise their $9.75 million club option for 2012, said he will return to Mississippi later this week to prepare for the offseason. He also will re-visit Dr. James Andrews for a follow-up on the left shoulder strain that landed Maholm on the DL on Aug. 19.
Maholm, who finished 6-14 with a 3.66 ERA, said one late September start wasn't worth the risk of trying to rush back.
"I would rather pitch, but realistically I knew it was going to tough," he said. "I haven't picked up a baseball yet. I think I could probably start tossing in the next week to 10 days. Then you're talking we've got 12 days left in the season. I think it's smarter to just make sure everything is good."
Maholm was among the most consistent left-handers in the NL through July, allowing three or fewer earned runs in 16 of his 23 starts. But he went 0-4 with a 6.75 ERA and 31 hits allowed in 222.2 innings in his final four starts before heading to the DL for the first time in his six-year major league career.
Manager Clint Hurdle agreed shutting down Maholm made the most sense rather than trying to push matters to "show an industry, or anybody, 'OK, I went out and threw four more innings.' "
"Paul understood it," Hurdle said. "All he's been through and all he's done here, this is his last season. To go out with a contract still open-ended with some unanswered questions, health. We are confident that by shutting him down it will give him every opportunity to get healthy."
Maholm has made no secret he wants to return to the team that made him the No. 8 overall pick in the 2003 draft. He said if the Pirates decline to exercise the option - which certainly seems likely - he wouldn't a rule out a return to Pittsburgh as a free agent.
"We're just going to see," he said. "If I go test free agency, obviously Pittsburgh will be one of the teams that I hope wants me, and we'll see how it goes."
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.
- Sawchik: Should Pirates be concerned about their defense?
- Pirates’ anemic offense fails in extra-inning loss to Cardinals
- Pirates minor league report: Curve wait for rotation adversity
- Biertempfel: Despite Wainwright injury, Cardinals still considered favorite in NL Central
- Pirates notebook: Burnett shrugs off moving up all-time strikeout list
- Gameday: Pirates at Cardinals, May 3, 2015
- Pirates notebook: Another Korean Baseball Organization star on Pirates’ radar
- Pirates’ decision to walk bases loaded backfires in 10th
- Pirates facing more offspeed pitches, fewer fastballs this season
- Pirates notebook: Is it time for Kang to head to Indy?
- Pirates notebook: Wainwright injury doesn’t sway Hurdle on DH