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2014 Dodgers review: Paul Maholm

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Here is a look back at the 2014 season for Paul Maholm, the Dodgers' pitching insurance policy who showed up and was signed on the first day of spring training camp in February.

What went right

Maholm was a creature of habit, having started 242 of 243 career games through 2013,and to his credit, he was willing to pitch in relief if it was what the team needed, even if it was well out of his comfort zone to do so.

The one time he was able to work and prepare as a starting pitcher Maholm was at least serviceable for a little while. The left-hander had a five-start stretch from April 16 to May 19 with a 3.94 ERA, but even that came with more walks (13) than strikeouts (12) in his 29⅔ innings.

What went wrong

The reason that five-start stretch wasn't listed as a longer string is because in that sixth start, on May 14 against the Marlins, Maholm was battered for 10 runs while recording only 11 outs.

Maholm was out of his element as a relief pitcher, never once used in a situation with even average leverage. Working mop-up and long-man duty, Maholm increased his strikeout rate in relief — 14.5 percent out of the bullpen compared to 8.8 percent as a starter — but even then put up a 5.00 ERA in his 22 relief appearances.

Maholm finished with his highest ERA (4.84) and WHIP (1.557) since 2010, and put up the highest FIP (4.96) of his career.

He also saw his season cut short by two months, tearing the ACL in his right knee on Aug. 1, an injury that required surgery.

2014 particulars

Age: 32

Salary: $1.5 million, plus unknown bonuses; he likely earned over half of the extra $5 million bases on achieving 41½ of a possible 60 points required for the incentives.

Game of the year

After that disaster start against the Marlins in May, Maholm didn't get another start for three months, but he made it count with a brilliant spot start against the Padres on July 12. Maholm pitched six scoreless innings, allowing only two hits while retiring 10 straight at one point, with four strikeouts. Unfortunately for Maholm he didn't get the win, as nobody scored until the ninth inning of a 1-0 Dodgers win.

Roster status

Maholm is now a free agent.