Braves pitcher Paul Maholm (wrist), who has been on the disabled list, throws from the mound at batting practice before the Braves play the Phillies at Turner Field on Monday, August 12, 2013, in Atlanta.
Nearly one month after he’d last pitched in a game, Braves veteran Paul Maholm got encouraging results in 5-2/3 innings of work in an injury-rehab start Saturday for Class-A Rome.
The left-hander allowed one run, four hits and no walks with six strikeouts in a 6-2 win against Charleston, with nine ground ball outs and two fly outs.
“Everything felt good,” said Maholm, on the disabled list recovering from a sprained and bruised left wrist. “I got plenty of ground balls. It’s a little different throwing to A-ball guys, but it was good just to get on the mound and be out there in competition.”
The Braves haven’t said when they intend to activate him or how they plan to work him back into a pitching staff that currently has five starters all pitching well. Maholm went 9-9 with a 4.41 ERA in 20 starts before injuring his wrist while batting in a game at Miami.
He said he felt ready to return after one rehab game.
“I’m going to talk to (team officials),” Maholm said Sunday morning. “Like I said before, I’m not trying to build up to throw 95 (mph) or anything. Just kind of get back into game action. I’m going to talk to them and see what they want me to do, and what role they want me to come back in.”
Although manager Fredi Gonzalez seems reluctant to utilize a six-man rotation, last week he mentioned the possibility of plugging Maholm into the rotation and giving another starter extra rest by bumping him back a few days. He didn’t say if he had anyone in particular in mind.
Maholm has made only one relief appearance in his 237 major league games over nine seasons with the Pirates, Cubs and Braves, but there has been some speculation he might be used in a relief role. He’s allowed a .203 average, .254 OBP and .271 slugging percentage against left-handed hitters, compared with .301/.366/.476 against righties.
Pitching plans: After using Kris Medlen for three innings of relief in Saturday’s 15-inning loss to Washington, the Braves will bump his next scheduled start to Friday at St. Louis. Originally, he’d been scheduled to start Tuesday at New York against the Mets.
Brandon Beachy will start Tuesday and Alex Wood on Wednesday in the finale of the two-game series against the Mets, and for the four games at St. Louis the Braves will start Mike Minor on Thursday, followed by Medlen, Julio Teheran and Beachy.
The Braves haven’t been able to acquire the ace they might have wanted for the top of their rotation, but they secured the depth they needed Monday with the signing of free agent right-hander Gavin Floyd.
One week after the Braves were eliminated by the Dodgers in a four-game division series, Braves general manager Frank Wren met with the team’s beat writers and discussed the 2013 season and the team’s needs going into the offseason.