Dodgers add reliever Justin Grimm to bullpen mix, might not be done

first_imgANAHEIM – The Dodgers signed pitcher Justin Grimm to a minor league contract Sunday. He joined his new teammates at Angel Stadium, where a number 49 jersey was waiting. Manager Dave Roberts said Grimm will make his debut in relief of Kenta Maeda Monday night.It was no surprise the Dodgers went outside the organization to bolster their bullpen; the long-reliever-sized hole in their pitching staff is the final piece to their Opening Day roster. Yet even Grimm might not represent the Dodgers’ final acquisition with the regular season just four days away.Grimm has appeared in 306 games for the Rangers, Cubs, Royals and Mariners in a career that began in 2012. His nine postseason appearances include a scoreless outing against the Dodgers in the 2016 National League Championship Series.For all his success, Grimm is not a long reliever. From 2015-18, he made only one relief appearance longer than two innings. Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Twelve players ended the Cactus League season in the Dodgers’ minor league camp who are now in uniform for the Freeway Series: pitchers Jaime Schultz, Layne Somsen, Parker Curry, Jordan Sheffield; catchers Connor Wong and Will Smith; infielders Jeter Downs, Matt Beaty, Edwin Rios and Omar Estevez; and outfielders Carlos Rincon and Jeren Kendall.Pitcher Stetson Allie, a non-roster invitee, is also in uniform for the three-game series.ALSORoberts said the Dodgers’ starting eight Sunday were “very indicative” of the batting order he might use on Opening Day. Joc Pederson, Justin Turner, Corey Seager, Max Muncy, A.J. Pollock, Cody Bellinger, Kiké Hernandez and Russell Martin started against Angels right-hander Felix Peña. The Dodgers will face another right-hander, Zack Greinke, Thursday against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire center_img To earn the Dodgers’ final bullpen job, that’s practically a prerequisite. With Ross Stripling and Julio Urías beginning the season in the rotation, the Dodgers have only one reliever (left-hander Caleb Ferguson) trained to throw two or more innings if needed. As a non-roster invitee in the Cleveland Indians’ camp this spring, Grimm didn’t retire more than four batters in a game. Roberts has no plan to extend him much further.“He’s really not a length option,” Roberts said of Grimm, “but we haven’t figured that last piece out.”If nothing else, Grimm gives the Dodgers a veteran option at the Triple-A level. The 30-year-old right-hander has almost as much service time as next three relievers – JT Chargois, Kevin Quackenbush and Donnie Hart – combined. Grimm also offers a bit more flexibility than right-hander Josh Fields, who was out of options when he was designated for assignment March 7.Grimm also has something to prove. Last season was his worst as a major league reliever. He allowed 19 runs in 16 appearances with the Kansas City Royals, was released in July, and signed a minor-league contract with the Seattle Mariners 12 days later. He pitched much better (one earned run in 4 2/3 innings) in five September appearances.“The biggest thing was just health,” Grimm said. “I messed up at the beginning of the season and tried to throw through some things that I probably shouldn’t have. It went backwards really fast. The thing with going to Seattle, pitching the slider, getting confidence back, I think it was simply health. A fresh start. Gaining confidence with every outing. Looking at the big picture.” In addition to being healthy, Grimm found success incorporating a slider into a repertoire that already included a fastball and curveball. Despite a strong Cactus League showing – seven scoreless outings – Grimm opted out of his minor league deal with the Indians on Friday. He wasn’t going to make their Opening Day roster and didn’t want to waste time finding his next stop.“I had a lot of friends over here the past few years – (Alex) Wood, (Kyle) Farmer, Fields – so I reached out to them,” Grimm said. “They had nothing but great things to say.”Roberts reiterated that right-handers Dennis Santana and Brock Stewart are the top candidates to begin the season in the long relief role.INJURY UPDATESLeft-hander Rich Hill (strained left MCL) began a throwing program wearing a flexible brace on his left knee. Hill won’t be able to throw off a mound while he’s wearing the brace, but Roberts said Hill remains on track to get off a mound in two weeks.Right-hander Walker Buehler and left-hander Clayton Kershaw will pitch simulated games Monday at Angel Stadium.FULL CLUBHOUSERelated Articles Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *