Cubs release relief pitcher Justin Grimm after four-and-a-half seasons

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 09: Justin Grimm #52 of the Chicago Cubs pitches in the 3rd inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field on September 9, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

CHICAGO – Over the past four-and-a-half years, he was on of the more recognizable guys out of the Cubs’ bullpen as his tenure with the team stretched across their late rebuilding years and eventually their rise to World Series champions.

But after struggles in 2017 and this spring, the Cubs are saying goodbye to Justin Grimm.

On Thursday the reliever was released following a Spring Training where he pitched in just three games and allowed three earned runs in three innings. Reported early in the afternoon, the Cubs confirmed the move around 3:30 PM.

Grimm finished his Cubs career with a 11-12 record with a .382 ERA since joining the team from the Rangers in the Matt Garza trade. The pitcher was strong in his first two years with the Cubs and posted a 1.99 ERA out of the bullpen in 2015 as the Cubs advanced all the way to the National League Championship Series.

In 2016 Grimm’s ERA increased to 4.10 but he still provided one of the great moments of the Cubs’ run to a World Series championship. In Game 3 against the Indians at Wrigley Field, Grimm entered the game in relief of Kyle Hendricks with the bases loaded and one out. The reliever kept the game scoreless as he induced an inning-ending double play, his arm-pumping reaction adding to a number of the many highlights from the memorable seven-game series.

But the next year Grimm’s production slowed, pitching in 18 fewer games as his ERA rose to 5.53.