Maloney for Ward?
The Reds traded Zach Ward from Minnesota for Kyle Lohse on July 31 of last year. Take a look at Ward's stats compared to Matt Maloney's, the guy the Reds got for Lohse today:
Ward 2-14, 3.30 ERA, 101 IP, 94 hits, 24 BB, 84 Ks
Maloney 9-7 3.94 ERA, 125.2 IP, 117 hits, 45 BB, 115 Ks
Ward's record seems out of whack with the rest of his numbers. And he is pitching in the Single-A Florida State League, and Maloney was pitching in the Double-A Eastern League. Ward is two days older than Maloney. (Maloney and I share the same birthday -- 27 years apart).
More on Maloney:
Height/Weight: 6-4/220 pounds
Born/Resides: Huron, Ohio
Maloney was rated by Baseball America as the ninth-best prospect in the Phillies' farm system this year.
Philadelphia selected him in the third round of the 2005 draft out of the University of Mississippi. Baseball America rated him as the 106th best prospect in that draft.
Last season with Single-A Lakewood, he led the South Atlantic League in victories (16), strikeouts (180) and innings pitched (168-2/3), was tied for first with two complete games and second in the league with a 2.08 ERA. He held opponents to a .194 batting average, struck out 10 batters in a game three times, and at one point made 12 consecutive quality starts.
In 21 starts with Double-A Reading this season, Maloney was 9-7 with a 3.94 ERA, 115 strikeouts to 45 walks, 13 home runs allowed and a .246 batting average against. He leads the Eastern League in innings pitched (125-2/3) and ranks fourth in strikeouts.
The Reds will assign him to Double-A Chattanooga.
Here's an excerpt of an article Joe Adelizzi of the Asbury Park Press wrote in advance of the South Atlantic League All-Star Game in June 2006.....
"Perhaps it goes back to his Little League days when his father, Joe, of Huron, Ohio, began teaching him how to pitch.
"He was my coach and the first one to help me understand what pitching was about," Maloney said. "He didn't force me to be a pitcher. But when he saw that was what I wanted to do, he guided me."
His father taught him well, said BlueClaws manager Dave Huppert.
"He has three pitches, and he is close to mastering all of them," said Huppert, a former catcher who has seen some top guys in his 30 years in the games.
Maloney knows everything works off the fastball. He is not overpowering, although he can break 90 on the radar guns around the league. But he understands the value of location. It has served him well.
"If I can move my fastball around in the strike zone it makes my curve and changeup more effective,' said Maloney, who is 6-4 and weighs 220 pounds. It is not one of those chiseled athletic bodies, but it seems like one made for pitching.
"He may not look very athletic, but he seems to know what he is doing on the mound," said Murray Cook, a scout for the Boston Red Sox who has been following the BlueClaws for the last two weeks. "He has mound presence, something rare at this level."
Huppert senses something else about Maloney that he likes.
"He gets extra tough when men are on base. He goes to a level higher. That's an awful good sign," Huppert said.