ARLINGTON, TX - JUNE 16: Justin Grimm #49 of the Texas Rangers delivers a pitch against the Houston Astros at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on June 16, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
Last year when the Texas Rangers were in a terrible way in regards to injuries to their starting pitchers, they called up a relative unknown to make a spot start against the Houston Astros.
Justin Grimm had never pitched past the Double-A level before making his big-league debut against the Astros at home, and he made the most of his opportunity, going six innings and giving up three runs with seven strikeouts and no runs on June 16.
Of course, that was the Astros, and we all have seen what kind of lineup they had last year and carried into this season. They like to strike out, and they just aren't very good. That showed when Grimm tried to make his second big-league start nine days later when he lasted just one inning against the stacked Detroit Tigers lineup and gave up six runs in an 8-2 Rangers loss.
After that, Grimm fell into a long relief role and bounced back and forth from the minors, making three more big-league appearances — all in relief.
This spring, Grimm was in contention for the No. 5 starter spot that was seemingly won by Martin Perez, pre-broken arm, and eventually won by Nick Tepesch, who shined in his big-league debut Tuesday night in a win over the Tampa Bay Rays. Now, he'll get another crack at being a big-league starter as he'll make the start Thursday night in Seattle to take the place of the injured Matt Harrison, who was put on the DL with a back injury after two poor starts.
Grimm was up and down this spring — mostly down — and could go a long way in helping his future with the club with a nice start Thursday, and another next week against the Chicago Cubs, if things go well.