The big surprise here is that neither of his previous shutouts came against the Cubs.
Veteran left-hander Paul Maholm pitched a three-hitter Saturday as the Pirates won 10-0 at Wrigley Field. He struck out four and walked none in the 91-pitch gem.
Ronny Cedeno, Lyle Overbay, Chris Snyder and Andrew McCutchen all went deep in the game.
It was just the second win of the year for Maholm. He leads the NL with seven losses despite an ERA that dropped from 3.65 to 3.18 today.
The Pirates gave some thought to trading Maholm last year, but it would have been a case of selling low. He had his worst year as a big leaguer in 2010, going 9-15 with a 5.10 ERA.
Now that he appears on his way to maybe his best or his second-best season (he had a 3.71 ERA and a nice 1.28 WHIP in 206 1/3 innings in 2008), he could bring a couple of quality prospects in return this summer. The Pirates are also in better position to move him, considering that they’d still have three-fifths of a decent rotation in place with Kevin Correia, Charlie Morton and James McDonald.
But before giving away their players again, we might as well let the Pirates enjoy this one. They’re back up to 24-26 on the season, and they’ll have a chance to go for a sweep in Chicago when Jeff Karstens faces Ryan Dempster on Sunday.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.