The Cincinnati Reds have acquired right-handed pitcher Justin Grimm from the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. The return from the Reds is still unknown. The 30-year-old has pitched in the Major Leagues in parts of seven seasons, but 2019 has not been one of them. This season he’s spent his entire year in Triple-A Oklahoma City.
It’s been a tough year for a lot of pitchers in Triple-A, and on the surface, that’s no different for Justin Grimm. His ERA is 5.66 this year in 41.1 innings. But he hasn’t been hit by the home run ball like most guys. He’s allowed just three of them this season. And he’s struck out 56 batters with just 15 walks. But his ERA reflects an incredibly low strand rate of just 62.1% this season. When guys are reaching base, they are scoring against him.
From 2012-2018 he pitched in the Major Leagues in every season. And in most of those seasons he pitched quite a bit. In 2012 he threw 14.0 innings for Texas, and last year he threw 17.1 innings for the Royals and Mariners. The seasons in between saw him throw at least 49.2 innings in each. Some of those seasons were better than others. In 2015 with the Cubs he posted a 1.99 ERA in 62 games. He bookended that season with ERA’s of 3.78 and 4.10. But for his career in the Major Leagues he’s got an ERA of 4.98 across 356.0 innings. He misses bats, striking out 361 during that time. When his home run rate has been good, he’s posted ERA’s around league average or better. When it’s been not-so-good, unsurprisingly, his ERA’s have gone through the roof.
Justin Grimm is not on the 40-man roster. Expect him to be assigned to Triple-A Louisville when he is activated.