While the Cubs will miss Justin Grimm on a short-term basis, it is believed the forearm injury that has sent him to the disabled list on Friday is “not too serious.” There’s no word yet on when he might be back, though.
While this isn’t Grimm’s first issue with his forearm, as he dealt with stiffness in July 2013 while pitching for the Rangers, it did not lead to a stint on the DL. In fact, later that month, he was part of the Matt Garza deal.
Grimm was instrumental in the success of last year’s bullpen unit, leading the team in relief innings pitched (69.0) and appearances (73). He was lucky enough to stay off the DL last year, despite being a workhorse. Grimm pitched early (12 of the team’s first 20 games) and often, including 10 appearances in which he recorded 4 outs or more — tied with Brian Schlitter for most among team relievers. More on him in a bit.
As for Grimm, his versatility will be missed, even if it’s only for a few weeks. In addition to being solid against right-handed batters, Grimm was tremendous against lefties last year, as he held them to a .188/.293/.235/.528 slash line, while posting a 29 percent strikeout rate. With Phil Coke representing the lone lefty hurler in the bullpen, Grimm could have been called on to get tough lefties out with the kind of reliability one would find in a traditional lefty specialist.
Taking Grimm’s roster spot is the aforementioned Schlitter, a curious choice considering his second-half struggles in 2014.
Opposing batters walked more times (10) than struck out (9) and slashed .413/.493/.492/.985 against Schiltter in 76 PA after the All-Star break. The second half marked quite a drop off for the Maine South High School grad, who limited 166 batters to a .211/.259/.289/.549 in 43 games before the break.
Schiltter didn’t get off to a good start on Friday (1 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 2 ER) in what was his first action since appearing in an exhibition game against the Diamondbacks on April 3.