Atlanta Braves‘ starting pitcher Paul Maholm flies under the radar on this team, but he keeps putting together quality outings that keep leading to wins.
Maholm went 6.2 innings allowing two runs in the Braves’ 6-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday afternoon to improve his record to 9-6 on the season to go along with a 3.69 ERA.
Only three National League pitchers have more wins at this point of the MLB season— Adam Wainwright (11) and Lance Lynn (10) of the St. Louis Cardinals and Jordan Zimmerman (11) for the Washington Nationals.
Maholm will not be confused as a dominant, top-end starter as evidenced by 75 strikeouts on the season and a 6.6 strikeout-per-nine inning ratio. However, his value comes from the ability to eat innings while keeping his team within striking distance. He ranks in the top 15 in the National League and leads the team with 105 innings pitched. He has also posted a quality start in every start at home this season minus the first game against the Philadelphia Phillies in which he allowed zero runs but only went 5.2 innings.
The 31-year-old clearly adds a dimension to the Braves’ rotation that will make it tough for the team to part with Maholm this season. One of the scenarios being mentioned with Brandon Beachy‘s return on the horizon is trading Maholm at the July 31 trade deadline. It’s not a totally far-fetched idea with Maholm being a free agent at season’s end, but trading him would put all the eggs in the basket of a guy returning from Tommy John surgery—a seemingly unlikely scenario.
The Braves will still mull their options, but it’s looking like Maholm will be a part of this team for the rest of 2013. He demonstrates his value to the rotation just about every time he takes the mound—even if he does so quietly.