Jon Lester left Thursday’s game with a lat injury, and it seems as though it very well may be a significant injury. So what will happen if he has to miss some time? Some people feel they will need to trade for an arm available on waivers (Verlander), but I think that would be a bad move. For one thing, this team doesn’t have many assets to give up any way, but also, Dillon Maples has been tearing it up.
Maples, 25, has worked his way from A ball in Myrtle Beach all the way up to AAA Iowa. Things have just clicked this year. All in all he has a 2.45 ERA and 13 saves in 58.2 innings pitched. He’s been fantastic. By all accounts his stuff has been nasty and he looks major league ready. Now, obviously he is a reliever, so the team would need someone to fill Lester’s shoes in the rotation; and that’s where Mike Montgomery comes in.
Monty did great filling in for Lester Thursday and keeping the Cubs alive, and he has been solid all season. He’s got a 3.64 ERA in 96 innings, and has already acted as a very serviceable number 5 starter while filling in for other injured pitchers. I just don’t think Theo and co need to rush out and bring someone else in via trade. The other side of this, however, is that someone will need to be removed from the 40 man roster, as it is full and Maples isn’t on it, but I know just the guy for the job.
Justin Grimm has been horrendous this year. He has a 5.40 ERA and has given up 11 homers in just 43 innings pitched. He’s been flat out bad, and it is time to cut him loose. Now, of course I will wish him well. There have been times over the past few seasons that Grimm has been great, even a cornerstone of the bullpen at times. I just think his time in Chicago has come to an end. It may be the best thing for him, as well. A lot of times, guys like him have the stuff, they just need a change of scenery to get them going, and that may be the case for Grimm.
All in all, of course this Lester injury could be a major issue for this team, especially since the Cubs are in a division battle where they can’t afford to slump. This, however, is the best option available. I think Maples could be the kickstart this bullpen needs to get back on track, and Montgomery has been fantastic and would likely seize this opportunity to start. Hopefully we will know more about the injury in the coming day or two.
Go Cubs Go!