During spring training this year the Chicago Cubs decided to part ways with Justin Grimm and at least initially give the last spot in the bullpen (and on the roster) to Eddie Butler. How is that move working out? Do the Cubs regret it? If the Cubs had a do-over, would they make the opposite decision?
So far this season, Chicago Cubs‘ Eddie Butler has pitched 14 2/3 innings over six appearances. In that time he’s posted a 4.30 ERA, giving up 12 hits and five walks, while striking out 10 batters. Those are neither dominating nor horrible stats. That is also a tiny sample size.
Half of those six outings have been precisely what the Cubs have needed. For instance, in his first outing of the season, Butler only gave up one run, four hits and a walk in seven innings. He ended up taking the loss in that 17 inning game. However, that is the kind of performance that really saves a bullpen. In his next two outings, he pitched a perfect inning each time.
On the other end of the spectrum, his last three outings were not as good. He gave up one run in two innings, three runs in 3 2/3 innings and four runs in an outing where he didn’t record an out. But perhaps he was pitching through an injury.
Unfortunately, Butler has been on the disabled list since April 20th with a groin strain. It isn’t known precisely when he suffered the injury. Butler isn’t expected to rejoin the Cubs until sometime in June at the earliest. So he has been injured longer than he has been healthy this season.