Pirates rule out Paul Maholm, Kevin Correia for rest of season

3 Comments

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.

MLB crowds jump from ’21, still below pre-pandemic levels

mlb
Logan Riely/Getty Images
1 Comment

PHOENIX — Even with the homer heroics of sluggers like Aaron Judge and Albert Pujols, Major League Baseball wasn’t able to coax fans to ballparks at pre-pandemic levels this season, though attendance did jump substantially from the COVID-19 affected campaign in 2021.

The 30 MLB teams drew nearly 64.6 million fans for the regular season that ended Wednesday, which is up from the 45.3 million who attended games in 2021, according to baseball-reference.com. This year’s numbers are still down from the 68.5 million who attended games in 2019, which was the last season that wasn’t affected by the pandemic.

The 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers led baseball with 3.86 million fans flocking to Dodger Stadium for an average of 47,672 per contest. The Oakland Athletics – who lost 102 games, play in an aging stadium and are the constant subject of relocation rumors – finished last, drawing just 787,902 fans for an average of less than 10,000 per game.

The St. Louis Cardinals finished second, drawing 3.32 million fans. They were followed by the Yankees (3.14 million), defending World Series champion Braves (3.13 million) and Padres (2.99 million).

The Toronto Blue Jays saw the biggest jump in attendance, rising from 805,901 fans to about 2.65 million. They were followed by the Cardinals, Yankees, Mariners, Dodgers, and Mets, which all drew more than a million fans more than in 2021.

The Rangers and Reds were the only teams to draw fewer fans than in 2021.

Only the Rangers started the 2021 season at full capacity and all 30 teams weren’t at 100% until July. No fans were allowed to attend regular season games in 2020.

MLB attendance had been declining slowly for years – even before the pandemic – after hitting its high mark of 79.4 million in 2007. This year’s 64.6 million fans is the fewest in a non-COVID-19 season since the sport expanded to 30 teams in 1998.

The lost attendance has been balanced in some ways by higher viewership on the sport’s MLB.TV streaming service. Viewers watched 11.5 billion minutes of content in 2022, which was a record high and up nearly 10% from 2021.