Chicago Cubs don’t need a blockbuster move to be ready for 2018
By Jake Misener
Can Justin Grimm get back to his 2015 form?
It was not so long ago that Justin Grimm was one of the best relievers in Joe Maddon‘s arsenal. During the team’s breakout 2015 campaign, the right-hander posted a 1.99 ERA in 62 appearances, with a career-high 12.1 strikeouts per nine.
But since then, it’s been a different bag for the 29-year-old reliever.
Over the last two seasons, Grimm owns a 4.83 earned run average over 118 appearances. His 4.35 FIP indicates that it’s not exactly a fluke, either. He continues to struggle balancing strikeouts with walks, but still managed to punch out hitters at north of one per inning since 2016.
When the Cubs designated Hector Rondon for assignment, many, myself included, thought Grimm would be the off man out. But the Cubs see something in the right-hander. If he wants to earn his spot and regain the trust of Joe Maddon, though, he needs to take it back to the drawing board heading into 2018.
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I’m not suggesting the Cubs will get across-the-board improvement from these guys in 2018. Some will improve and others will struggle – that’s just the way it goes. But if two or three of these pieces get back to doing what they’ve done in the past, Chicago could be poised for a return to the Fall Classic.