Justin Grimm makes his Major League debut today and is another example of how the Rangers do business
One of the reasons so many people believed the Rangers would win a third straight American League pennant wasn’t just the talent at the Major League level. It was the overall depth of the minor league system. If the Rangers needed to add a player at the trading deadline, they were positioned to do so because young talent is the currency for doing business in Major League Baseball. Other teams have depth, but the Rangers and Yankees seemed to have the best combination of talent at the Major League level along with depth in the Minor Leagues.
The Rangers are still atop the American League West despite Derek Holland, Neftali Feliz, Alexi Ogando and Koji Uehara being on the Disabled List. That’s 40 percent of the projected rotation and two arms at the back of the bullpen. Colby Lewis, Yu Darvish and Matt Harrison are 21-12 with 25 quality starts, 77 walks, 213 strikeouts and a 3.41 ERA. The bullpen is has a 2.95 ERA and has blown just four saves. Only the Yankees have fewer.
In need of a starting pitcher, the Rangers summoned 23-year-old right-hander Justin Grimm from Double-A to start against the Astros this afternoon. If this is the beginning of a nice career, he’ll be another tribute to how smart the Rangers are. He was a fifth-round pick in 2010 after winning just seven games in three seasons at Georgia. His career ERA was 5.84.
Still, Rangers scout Ryan Coe liked him. He’d seen a lot of him over the years in his work as a college coach and an area scout assigned to Florida and Georgia. He told Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News that it was Grimm’s arm action, breaking pitch and attitude that impressed him.
Coe’s bosses were skeptical because the raw numbers were not impressive. But they trusted their scout. In his second professional season, Grimm had a 1.87 ERA and 14 walks and 67 strikeouts at Double-A.