Chicago Cubs: 5 players that need a bounce back year in 2018

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Chicago Cubs
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Justin Grimm, RHP

The future for Justin Grimm might be up in the air. He’s a non-tender candidate, and the Cubs could choose not to offer him a raise and let him walk. It was just a few years ago that Grimm was a crucial part of the Cubs pen that was shutting opponents down. Now just a few years later, he’s not the only one on this list that needs to have a big campaign to redeem himself.

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In 2015, Grimm posted a 1.99 ERA and struck out 67 in 49 1/3 innings. Since then, his innings pitched has gone up, his strikeouts down–and he’s allowing the ball to leave the yard at a much more frequent rate. In his first three seasons with the Cubs, Grimm allowed just 13 home runs. Last year he gave up 12 and allowed more walks than the year before.

Walks hurt. But Grimm had managed to keep those runners from scoring. When you can’t keep the ball in the park, things go wrong in a hurry. Grimm’s future might be decided by what the Cubs do as they look to rebuild the bullpen. He’s on the outside looking in, but Grimm has the stuff to get hitters out. He’s shown that. Will he get a chance in 2018?