Cubs Roster Profiles: Paul Maholm


As the 2012 season approaches, Cubbies Crib is profiling each and every member of the Cubs forty man roster. Today, we are talking about Paul Maholm.

The southpaw is the lone free agent addition to the Cubs rotation. He is very well versed with the NL Central as a career Pirate, and he is looking to get back on track with his new team. Going into Spring Training, Maholm figures to be set as the third starter in the rotation behind Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster.

2011 Recap

Maholm had a pair of subpar years, including 2011, when you strictly look at his wins and losses. The under .500 record is a bit more surprising considering the Pirates spent half of this past season in contention for the NL Central title.

2012 Outlook

The lefty has never finished a full season with a record over .500, but the upside is that Maholm can eat 175+ innings while tallying over 100 strikeouts. He will need to keep his walks down to avoid a ballooning ERA and short outings. Hopefully he feels no pressure to produce beyond his means, as being the top lefty option in the rotation is a luxury for a Cubs staff that has not seen that role filled since the departure of Ted Lilly.

If he needs even more motivation, the Cubs do have a $6.5 million team option for 2013 that Maholm could encourage the club to pick up with a solid season. With the front office and fans conceding that 2012 will pretty much be a rebuilding year, Maholm needs to eat up innings while also building a case to be an option at the back end of the rotation in future years for what we all hope will be a starting rotation worthy to contend for the playoffs.