The Pirates shifted rotation mainstays Paul Maholm and Kevin Correia to the 60-day disabled list on Tuesday, officially bringing their seasons to an end.
Maholm went on the DL on Aug. 20 with a left shoulder strain after going 6-14 with a 3.66 ERA in 26 starts, leaving the Pirates with a tough decision to make this winter. His option for 2012 is worth $9.75 million, which seems excessive for a guy who is 53-73 lifetime. Maholm, though, had a career-best ERA this year, and he had made at least 29 starts in each of his previous five full seasons. He’d likely land a multiyear deal as a free agent if the Pirates let him go.
Correia, a surprise All-Star, ended his year 12-11 with a 4.79 ERA. He’s been sidelined since Aug. 19 with a strained oblique muscle. Correia was 7-4 with a 3.44 ERA after two months, but he faded fast from there and went 1-5 over his last eight starts.
The Pirates made the moves today to help create room for callups. Brought back to the majors were third baseman Pedro Alvarez, left-hander Aaron Thompson and left-hander Daniel Moskos. Left-hander Jeff Locke and right-hander Jared Hughes will make their major league debuts.
The Cardinals went from winning 100 games last season to 82 entering Wednesday evening’s game, and they might not even make the playoffs. Still, the organization will bring back manager Mike Matheny for the 2017 season, Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Owner Bill DeWitt, Jr. said, “Mike’s done a really good job for us. There’s no thought that we’re going to go in any different direction.”
GM John Mozeliak also expressed his support, saying, “Mike takes a lot of heat, and I’ve defended him and I will continue to. I really feel like some of the things that we’re dealing with aren’t fair to put on the manager.”
Mozeliak continued, “I do feel like all of us are always held accountable for what we do here, so there’s nobody excluded from that. But having said that, I don’t look at him as someone that we are where we are because of that.”
Matheny has received criticism for his bullpen usage, but the Cardinals have only 15 blown saves as a team, the fourth-lowest total in baseball this season.
The Phillies’ bullpen led to yet another loss on Tuesday. Severino Gonzalez, Luis Garcia, Joely Rodriguez, and David Hernandez combined to allow six runs in five innings, allowing the Braves to come back and win 7-6 after falling behind 6-0 after the first two innings.
The game prior, the Phillies’ bullpen surrendered 14 runs in four innings in a 17-0 loss to the Mets. The game before that, the bullpen yielded four runs in four innings, nearly squandering the Phillies’ 10-0 lead after four innings. And last Thursday, the Phillies had taken an 8-6 lead in the top of the 11th, but Edubray Ramos served up a walk-off three-run home run to Asdrubal Cabrera. It’s been a tough month.
Manager Pete Mackanin ripped the bullpen when speaking to the media after Tuesday’s game. Via Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly:
Neris was going to close for us. I thought about using him with two outs in the eighth. But, at some point, somebody else has to do a (bleeping) job. Somebody else has to (bleeping) step up. In two games now, every reliever I brought in has given up a (bleeping) run. That’s unheard of.
The Phillies currently own the fourth-worst bullpen ERA in baseball at 4.97. Only the Rockies (5.12), Reds (5.07), and Diamondbacks (4.98) have been worse.
In fairness to the bullpen, aside from Jeanmar Gomez (who lost his job as closer earlier this month) and free agent signee David Hernandez, the bullpen is intentionally comprised of young, inexperienced pitchers as the Phillies are still rebuilding. If the Phillies were aiming for a playoff spot, it would be one thing, but the struggles are to be expected when one throws 24-year-olds into the deep end.