We are in the final days of June which means July is right around the corner. July figures to be an important month for the Chicago Cubs organization. That is the month where the likes of Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, Carlos Marmol, Geovany Soto, and Alfonso Soriano may all find new teams before the July 31 trade deadline.
Another trade option for the Cubs is starting pitcher Paul Maholm. The 29 year old Maholm may not be a traditional fit for where the Cubs are headed in their long-term future.
In 14 starts this season, Maholm has posted an ERA of 5.38 to go along with a record of 4-6. The former Pittsburgh Pirate has done little to show Cubs president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer that he belongs in the teams long-term plans. Especially when you figure Maholm’s 5.38 ERA in the discussion.
Though, Maholm may be a candidate to remain with the Cubs after the July 31 trade deadline. One thing is clear about the Cubs plans for the trade deadline, that is that the teams plans to trade both Dempster and Garza. The Cubs are lacking pitching depth in the upper levels of their organization. Meaning, Maholm will likely remain with the Cubs if the front office is able to trade both Dempster and Garza.
Maholm was on the mound for the Cubs on Saturday against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and his struggles continued as the Cubs lost 10 to 5.
What Went Right: Center fielder David DeJesus and shortstop Starlin Castro were a combined 8 for 10 in first two spots in the Cubs’ lineup. While the Cubs likely will politely listen on offers for Castro, as teams like the Seattle Mariners have inquired, there is no realistic chance that the team will trade the 22 year old shortstop. DeJesus on the other hand could easily find himself on a new team within the next month. DeJesus is hitting .270/.366/.401 on the season and would be a nice addition for a team that is looking for help at the top of their order. The only highlight for Paul Maholm on Saturday came in the fourth inning when the pitcher hit a home run.
What Went Wrong: Maholm struggled once again on Saturday as the starting pitcher took the loss after allowing 7 runs, six of which were earned, on 9 hits and issuing three base on balls. Despite scoring five runs on Saturday, the Cubs offense was not much better. As a whole, the Cubs offense left 10 runners on base while going 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position.
What Was Interesting: Adrian Cardenas got the start for the Cubs at second base on Saturday and Cardenas performed well. The utility infielder went 2 for 3 while showing good ranger while fielding his position. I was a supporter of Cardenas when the Cubs claimed him from the Oakland Athletics. Cardenas has struggled offensively during his time with the Cubs, but that may be due to the lack of playing team he has received. Cardenas certainly should not be considered as a long-term piece to the Cubs’ puzzle, though with an extended look, his future with the Cubs could look brighter.