SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Justin Grimm, off to a rough start this spring, made a phone call to an old friend and mentor last week. He had a chat with Storm Davis, his former pitching coach in the Rangers' farm system who is now working for the Cubs. Davis also pitched 13 seasons in the Majors and won 19 games for the 1989 World Series champion Athletics.
"It was more mental than physical," Grimm said. "I was worried about the wrong things instead of what I need to be doing and focusing on what I'm capable of doing. He's always a guy who I've been able to talk to. He's very good at the mental side of the game."
Grimm, ranked as the Rangers' No. 10 prospect by MLB.com, admitted he came to camp worried too much about trying to make the team rather than just go out and pitch. He came to camp as a candidate for the fifth-starter spot but didn't help himself by allowing 14 runs in his first five innings (including one intrasquad game).
But he came back Sunday and allowed just one run in three innings to get the save in the Rangers' 7-6 victory over the Indians. He allowed four hits and a walk with three strikeouts.
"I was worried about others' expectations rather than my own expectations," Grimm said. "That's something I'll learn: Here's where I'm at, here is where I want to be and here's what I've got to do to get there. I had a rough start but I still know where I want to be and what I need to do to get there. Now I've got to do it."
Grimm was 1-1 with a 9.00 ERA in two starts and three relief appearances for the Rangers last season and 11-6 with a 2.81 ERA in 22 starts and three relief appearances combined at Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less