Projecting the 2012 Cubs: Paul Maholm

Next we move to the newest Cubs starter, Paul Maholm. Maholm stat-gathered 13.9 fWAR (11.1 rWAR) in his seven seasons with the Pirates, but it seems like he's been around a lot longer. Some years he was the defacto ace of the staff, and during his tenure he was certainly the most consistent member of their rotations that featured the likes of Zach Duke, Ian Snell, and Oliver Perez. Joe Morgan would approve. He's not a guy you want fronting your rotation but he's a solid pickup at the relatively cheap price of $4.25m for this year. They could have saved some money, but no one wants to see a pile of starts from the likes of Doug Davis/Rodrigo Lopez/Casey Coleman.

Maholm is a ground ball pitcher, though his GB trend has been inching downward every year. I'd make a crack about how pitching in front of the Cubs defense isn't going to help him much, but the Pirates have been as awful as the Cubs if not even more so. I would complain that I don't think fWAR gives enough credit to groundball pitchers, but rWAR was even less kind to Maholm during his career.

Here are his projections for 2012:

Steamer 179 60 8 106 17 4.58 4.23
Bill James 147 47 6 90 12 4.22 3.96
RotoChamp 170 54 7 101 13 4.24 3.92
Tango Marcel 160 50 7 100 12 4.16 3.83
ZiPS 103 52 7 102 14 4.2 4.55
CAIRO 175 57 8 103 15 4.28 4.09
PECOTA 182.67 54 7 105 18 4.53 4.17
Oliver 180 56 7 107 15 4.39 3.91
DavMarcel 150.7 48 7 98 14 4.19 4.04
Guru 139.8 45 6 87 11 4.08 3.91
Average 158.72 52.3 7 99.9 14.1 4.29 4.06

As was done in the Dempster projections (and all pitcher projections going forward), the FIP is based on the National League ERA from the past two seasons, and the starters' replacement level FIP generated by those seasons is 5.36. Using these numbers, Paul Maholm is projected to be worth 1.71 WAR.  Maholm's suppressed IP numbers are due to the fact that he was put on the 60-Day DL last season for a shoulder strain, that included a visit to Dr. James Andrews. If you push his IP up to the 185 or so range, which is closer to what he's done in his healthy seasons, it comes out to 2.33 WAR, just about on par with Dempster for a third of the price. Of course, those IP numbers are regressed for a reason so it's best to use caution.


About berselius

How appropriate. You fight like a cow.