Chicago Cubs: Justin Grimm released, new spot open

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

With the release of Grimm, there is a new spot for another reliever to make the Chicago Cubs squad. This can re-open the door for guys like Eddie Butler or allow Dillon Maples to make an immediate impact on the MLB roster.

The Chicago Cubs have released veteran reliever Justin Grimm today. Grimm (29) was brought to the Cubs organization in 2013 and was a reliable reliever in 2014-2015. The past two years he had declined and had struggled in spring training this year.

He was cut after posting a 9.00 ERA and 2.5 WHIP in four innings in spring ball. He walked four batters and gave up two home runs. This was coming off 2017 which he pitched to a 5.53 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 2.0 HR/9 in 55 1/3 innings. With his struggles last year and spring this year, the writing was on the wall for him.

Grimm’s peak season with the Cubs was in 2015. A 1.99 ERA and 12.1 K/9 in 49.2 innings made himself a good weapon in the pen. He also came up big in the NLDS clincher that year against the Cardinals, escaping a two-on and nobody out game by striking out the next three. It seemed like the Cubs milked the most out of him and a change of scenery may do him some good.

Openings possibly available

Grimm being cut may help other guys get a chance out of camp. The bullpen is pretty much set aside from the last spot. There are a couple of options to consider. Probably the one that seems to make the most sense is Eddie Butler.

It is easy to forget he was a spot/five starter last year for some time. Last year he posted a 3.95 ERA, but a 4.66 FIP as he did get hit hard many times even for outs. Still there is promise with him. He has a solid fastball that can be very effective when located right. In 6 2/3 innings in spring ball this year, he has a 2.70 ERA with no home runs against, four strikeouts and two walks. He has shown he can go multiple innings last year so that he could be of value in the bullpen.

If not Butler for whatever reason, Dillon Maples may be one to look at. This stuff is MLB caliber with the nasty slider, but his command needs work. Five walks and two home runs in five innings for a 12.60 ERA does not look pretty. He will get MLB time again, but to start the season may be out of the question. Same goes for Jen-Ho Tseng, who posted a 5.79 ERA in 4 2/3 innings this spring.

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In the end, Eddie Butler getting Grimm’s spot makes the most sense. He can be a multi-inning reliever and allow other guys to be spread out more. It also helps he has more experience than guys like Tseng or Maples.