Chicago Cubs’ Justin Grimm shining bright during streak


The Chicago Cubs’ Justin Grimm has been lights-out this season and skipper Joe Maddon has taken notice of the right-hander’s work thus far.

For much of this season, the Chicago Cubs’ bullpen woes has been well-documented – with Hector Rondon losing the closer role and both Jason Motte and, however briefly, Rafael Soriano, taking stabs at ninth-inning duties.

Earlier this weekend, Grimm was part of a dominant bullpen performance against the White Sox, prompting manager Joe Maddon to tell ESPN Chicago that he’s been the club’s “middle innings closer” so far in 2015.

"“How about Grimm yesterday?” Maddon said Sunday. “Oh my God. Those (radar) numbers are heavy up on the board there and the command is there and the breaking ball is there.”"

During Chicago’s recent nine-game winning streak, Rondon re-established himself as a premier closer, tightroping his way out of danger on multiple occasions.

Meanwhile, Grimm has continued to fly under-the-radar, seemingly happy to fulfill his role seamlessly, with little praise and no accolades in the cards.

The right-hander has turned in a 1.34 earned run average and 2.13 FIP in 33 2/2 innings of work, and has not allowed a run since July 20 – a span of 11 appearances.

Cost-effective and under team control through 2020, Grimm is perhaps the Chicago Cubs’ most valuable bullpen weapon moving forward – especially with the team expected to be competitive for years to come.

Despite being a right-handed hurler, Grimm has excelled against left-handed bats this season, with opponents batting just .086/.200/.171 from the left side. His 3.77 strikeout-to-walk ratio is stellar, as well – giving opposing hitters little chance to succeed.

He’s shown the ability to mix his upper-90s heater with devastating breaking pitches this year, propelling him forward from an already-solid make-up in years’ past.

Since the Midsummer Classic, Grimm has been even more electric, moving his SO/BB mark to 6.50 after finishing the first-half at 3.27. He’s averaging roughly a dozen strikeouts per nine, limiting opposing batters to a .398 OPS with runners in scoring position.

So while the praise has been heaped upon Rondon during the Chicago Cubs’ recent hot spell, it’s time to be sure we appreciate the lesser-known arms; the men who are handling their business quietly.

It’s time to give kudos to Justin Grimm.

Next: Cubs' bats silenced by Sale in series finale