Who was right?
So Grimm’s performance isn’t causing the Cubs to regret letting him go and giving Butler his old spot in the bullpen. Of course, Butler might not end up holding onto this spot in the bullpen. The front office did an excellent job of stacking Triple-A this offseason with some viable candidates to both serve as depth and push for a major league job.
Another possibility is that the Cubs reduce the number of pitchers in the bullpen from eight to seven. In recent years the Cubs have carried eight pitchers in the bullpen at times, but not always. Eight pitchers in the bullpen mean only four hitters on the bench. Usually, the Cubs are able to compensate for such a short bench with the versatility of their position players. But at times a short bench overly limits Joe Maddon‘s options.
Think of it this way. In 2017 this spot on the roster was occupied by Jon Jay. In 2018 the Cubs have essentially all the same position players except for Jay and a different backup catcher.