Forget the fact Paul Maholm (4-5) is winless over his last five starts.
It’s not the victories the Cubs need most from Maholm. It’s innings logged that’s crucial from their lone left-handed starter.
With the Cubs weakest link its bullpen, it’s imperative the starters last long enough to shorten the game for the pen.
Maholm, unfortunately, simply isn’t getting the job done.
Through 11 starts Preacher Paul has lasted into the sixth inning on five occasions. Three times he’s logged four innings, twice five innings, and on but one occasion, seven inning.
All totaled, Maholm has accounted for 60.0 innings pitched. That’s less than 5.5 innings per outing, putting him on pace for roughly 160-170 innings pitched for the season.
If you consider the ideal mark for your No.4 starter is 180.0 innings pitched and somewhere in the 10-12 win range—it’s pretty clear Maholm is falling short.
His latest trends show he’s not making up ground, either. Maholm’s pitched 5.0, 5.1 & 4.0 innings over his last three starts.
Four wins through 11 starts, however, keeps Paul on pace for the ideal win total, but you can hardly hold that against him (or any member of the staff) given the Cubs inability to score runs.
What must be souring the Cubs front office more than anything is Maholm’s declining trade value with each short outing.
The mere fact Maholm is a southpaw keeps his trade options open. But Chicago could obviously get more in return from a guy pitching like a true No.4 than a No.5 starter, and at the very worse, a few more wins for the futile Cubbies if he remains on the North Side.