Brian Matusz, who the Cubs picked up on a minor league deal on June 14, has been added to the Cubs 25-man roster and Justin Grimm will head back to Iowa. Matusz will immediately make a spot start for the Cubs today. That will push Kyle Hendricks, who was scheduled to start today, to tomorrow, giving him and the other starters an extra day of rest.
Matusz has performed well for the Iowa Cubs, in 9.1 innings he’s allowed two runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out 10.6 batters per nine innings. The Cubs picked him up after he was released by the Atlanta Braves who acquired him and immediately released him from the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles had drafted him fourth overall in 2008.
Matusz has had a rocky professional career with the Orioles, which is why he was released, and some thought he’d never make another major league start. The lefty has a career 4.85 ERA in the majors and that includes 7.9 Ks/9.
As a high rated prospect he’s never quite been able to reach those expectations at the major league level. Of course, we all know what happened when Jake Arrieta, who had troubles in Baltimore, moved to the Cubs. That’s not likely to happen but can you imagine the Orioles thoughts if Matusz does have success.
Justin Grimm now gets some time at Iowa – at least 10 days because he can’t be recalled until then. My thought is that he may stay down until the rosters expand on September 1.
This move will undoubtedly be disappointing for Grimm, who hasn’t spent any significant amount of time at the minor league level since 2013. For the 2016 season, Justin has a 4.72 ERA and 3.83 FIP. He hasn’t allowed an earned run since June 26.