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Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh, 29 August 2005

Ramon Ortiz (8-9, 5.33) vs. Paul Maholm (0-0, 0.00). Can these two teams work out a trade, please? Ortiz was excellent in Anaheim's bullpen last year, but Cincinnati doesn't seem to have the luxury of using him there, so he's just another crappy starter for the Reds. Meanwhile, the Pirates' hot pitching prospect has a minor injury, so they just call up yet another hot pitching prospect.

The Reds keep using top draft picks on pitchers - Ty Howington, Dustin Moseley (who they later traded for Ortiz), Chris Gruler, Ryan Wagner (a reliever), Homer Bailey, and so on. And every year they seem to trade for young pitching: Aaron Harang, Joe Valentine, Brandon Claussen, Josh Hancock, Jung Bong, Matt Belisle, and recently Travis Chick and Justin Germano. And yet the Ramon Ortizes and Eric Miltons and Luke Hudsons keep on coming.

Meanwhile, the Reds recently traded their third baseman, Joe Randa, for Chick and Germano, which was a smart move - and promoted yet another top hitting prospect, Edwin Encarnacion. The Pirates recently lost a young infielder, Jose Castillo, to injury, and they promoted Ty Wigginton. Dan O'Brien, Dave Littlefield, I'm sitting y'all down for a chat.

Anyway, it's appropriate that Paul Maholm will start in place of Zach Duke, since Maholm is often compared to Duke. Maholm is no pushover, but he's not overpowering either; he can get his fastball into the low 90s. He throws four pitches, including a good curve, and is known for his poise, which... take from that what you will.