3/3/2013 6:51 P.M. ET
Grimm remains determined for Opening Day role
By William Boor / MLB.com
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Justin Grimm's Spring Training debut left a lot to be desired. In two innings of work last Monday, the 24-year-old allowed four hits, one walk and three earned runs against the Colorado Rockies.
No one expects pitchers to execute perfectly during the early stages of Spring Training, but Grimm is fighting for a roster spot, whether it be in the Rangers bullpen or starting rotation, and wants to make sure he leaves manager Ron Washington and the rest of the Rangers coaching staff with a strong impression.
"Obviously I had a rough first [outing] and it's just a simple adjustment of getting the ball down," Grimm said before Sunday's start. "That's what I am going to concentrate on today, getting the ball down and getting my timing down."
Grimm made his second Spring Training appearance, a start against the Seattle Mariners on Sunday, and to his disappointment it was not much better. In fact, it may have been worse.
In just 2 1/3 innings, Grimm allowed six earned runs on six hits. Grimm was hit hard in his short outing as he allowed two home runs -- two-run shots to Kendrys Morales and Jesus Montero -- and three doubles.
The Rangers have an open competition for both the fifth spot in the rotation and several spots in the bullpen.
In 2012, Grimm played in five games for the Rangers, starting two. He posted a 1-1 record with an ERA of 9.00. Despite the less-than-desirable stat line, Grimm knows he can pitch at the Major League level and wants to use Spring Training to showcase that.
Although Grimm ultimately wants to be a starter in the Majors, his 2013 goal is simply to don a Rangers jersey instead of the Double-A Frisco jersey he wore for the majority of 2012. Grimm went 9-3 with a 1.72 ERA with the Frisco squad.
"I just want to establish myself and then worry about all that," Grimm said. "If [my spot] is in the fifth spot, then it's in the fifth spot. If it's in a bullpen role, then it's in the bullpen."
Randy Wells, Kyle McLellan, Martin Perez, Robbie Ross, Nick Tepesch and Cody Buckel are competing for the final spot in the Rangers rotation alongside Grimm.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Grimm is certainly aware of the competition, but chooses not to spend any time thinking about it.
Instead, Grimm is trying to absorb as much as possible while sharing a clubhouse with established Major Leaguers. If he begins the season somewhere other than on the Rangers roster, he wants to make sure he takes Major League knowledge with him.
"That's how you learn the game, learn the ropes of how things are done around here," Grimm said. "I've talked to Joe [Nathan], Colby [Lewis] and Matt Harrison. I was talking to [Harrison] in the dugout the other day after my live BP because him and Colby were standing behind the shell as I was throwing so I was getting feedback from those guys on what they thought."
William Boor is an associate reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.