Brewers News: Grimm Activated from IL as 29th Man for Doubleheader

Justin Grimm, Milwaukee Brewers (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Justin Grimm, Milwaukee Brewers (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Today’s doubleheader means the Brewers get to add an extra player to the roster for the day. As a result, Justin Grimm returns from the injured list.

Yesterday, the Brewers made the unprecedented decision to join their fellow Milwaukee athletes on the Bucks in opting against playing last night’s game. Eventually, the league decided to have the Brewers reschedule their game as a doubleheader against the Reds today.

During a normal season, league rules allow teams to increase their rosters from 26 to 27 players on the day of a doubleheader. The same is true for the 2020 season and its expanded rosters, meaning Milwaukee gets to carry a 29th man on Thursday.

The Brewers could’ve gone either direction with their move: carry an extra pitcher to help cover all the extra innings or an extra position player to possibly rotate players on the field between games and cut down on the wear and tear. They decided to go the pitcher route.

The move makes plenty of sense for Milwaukee. Even though each game today is only seven innings, it still helps to have extra arms, plus either game could go to extra innings. Also, with Justin Grimm eligible to come off the injured list, he can be activated without having to send another player down right away.

How was Grimm doing before he got injured?

Grimm has pitched in three games for the Brewers so far in 2020 and has compiled a 17.18 ERA over 3 2/3 innings. His first outing saw him throw an inning of work in the opening series against the Cubs where he gave up three earned runs on two homers as part of a 9-1 blowout loss for Milwaukee.

His second outing went much better as he gave up just a hit over two scoreless innings with three strikeouts earlier this month against the Reds. Things went south again in his last outing, though, when he gave up four earned on a homer, two singles, and three walks in a 12-2 loss to the Twins.

The next day, it would be announced that Grimm would head to the IL with a callus laceration on his throwing hand. Despite his rough start, Grimm looked great in Spring Training and solid in Summer Camp. He could still play an important role out of the bullpen this season.

Who will head down for the Brewers?

For today, that would be no one. As mentioned earlier, the Brewers get to carry an extra player for the day, so the team gets to delay the decision on who to send to the alternate training site for another day.

Should the team go pitcher-for-pitcher, the most likely candidates are J.P. Feyereisen or Drew Rasmussen. Feyereisen was just called up on Sunday and hasn’t pitched since Opening Day. Rasmussen, who was called up when Grimm went to the IL, has pitched in two games, giving up two earned runs over 3 1/3 innings.

There’s a non-zero chance that Milwaukee could send a position player down instead. In that case, the options could be Mark Mathias, who has hit well in his limited opportunities but for some reason won’t get used by Counsell, or Jace Peterson, who was just added to the roster this week but doesn’t likely play into the team’s future plans and would have to be DFA’d.

The most likely candidate to me is Rasmussen. Though he looked very good in his first outing for the Crew, striking out three over two innings, he struggled some in his second outing when he gave up two earned runs and allowed three other inherited runners to score in 1 1/3 innings of work. A trip back to Appleton could allow him to continue fine tuning his craft.

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The Brewers play eight games over the next seven days so Grimm is sure to get some work at some point. Hopefully some time to get healthy helps him look more like the Spring Training version of Justin Grimm.