The Chicago Cubs made a roster move late this morning, before the start of their three game set with the Colorado Rockies. Right handed pitcher Justin Grimm has been sent to the 15-day disabled list, with fellow right-hander Brian Schlitter being recalled to take his place in the bullpen.
Since he has yet to appear in a game this season, Grimm’s time on the disabled list will be retroactive to April 2nd, meaning he will be eligible to return to the Cubs on April 17th. The diagnosis of the injury of right forearm inflammation is concerning, as a lot of times forearm issues can reach the elbow. Hopefully, the Cubs were able to diagnose Grimm’s injury early, and he can make it back soon.
After an incredibly strong second half of last season, Grimm is a prime breakout candidate for the Cubs in 2015. He finished last year with a 3.78 ERA with 70 strikeouts in 69 innings pitched out of the bullpen. Grimm is a talented 26-year-old pitcher with big upside going forward, hopefully this is just a minor bump in the road.
Schlitter has a some-what surprising addition to the Opening Day roster last season, and while he had some early season success, he did fade down the stretch a bit. Schlitter finished 2014 with a 4.15 ERA in 61 relief appearances, but his 3.61 FIP suggest that he ran in to a little bit of bad luck.
With Phil Coke being the only left-handed pitcher in the bullpen, I am a little bit surprised to see that Cubs not bringing up a left-handed reliever in this spot.
That being said, the two lefties who would make the most sense to come up would be Drake Britton and the recently re-acquired James Russell. Both players would have to be added to the 40-man roster, something that would be difficult for the Cubs to do at the moment.
While you never want to see a promising pitcher like Grimm run in to injury issues, the Cubs’ bullpen is well equipped to handle this loss.
Their trio of hard-throwing right-handers in Pedro Strop Neil Ramirez and closer Hector Rondon should easily be able to continue to hold the fort down without Grimm. Schlitter should be able to be at least adequate in the absence of Grimm as well.