When the Chicago Cubs received Justin Grimm in a mid-season trade with the Texas Rangers in 2013, it is very unlikely that even they considered him a potential starting rotation candidate the following season. In case of need of course Grimm has started in his career and can do so. His numbers with the Rangers in 2013 were terrible however. What happened when he shifted to the Cubs colors was nothing short of shocking.
Grimm has an overall ERA in 2013 of 5.97 but that does not tell the story. The real story has to begin with the fact that 6.37 of that ERA was with the Rangers. During his time with the Cubs in 2013 Grimm put up an ERA of 2.00. It might stand to reason that he would be a frontrunner for a rotation spot considering that stat. Not so fast, though.
He started while with the Rangers but was coming out of the bullpen for the Cubs. That is where the Spring Training season of 2014 will matter for Grimm and the Cubs. They have two rotation spots available for Grimm, Chris Rusin, Jake Arrieta and Carlos Villanueva to fight for. Arrieta has an injury that will keep him from being ready by Opening Day so that takes care of a big name.
Out of the rest of the group, Grimm has the best numbers by far but only out of the bullpen. What he must prove this spring season is that he can pitch to close to that level from a starting position as well. Because of the Arrieta injury it is very likely that Grimm will get at least a look out of Spring Training. Whether he keeps his spot of moves back to the bullpen when Arrieta returns will depend on his performance.