Pirates notebook: Grilli returns from DL, but not as closer
MILWAUKEE — The Pirates activated Jason Grilli from the disabled list Tuesday, but he will not immediately return to the closer role.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Grilli will throw several times in low-stress relief situations before the club considers moving Grilli back to ninth-inning duty. Hurdle wants Grilli to return to closing at some point this month.
“We'll use him at least couple times in non-leverage situations to see how he fares, how he feels,” Hurdle said. “Our eyes will tell us what to do with him after that. ... We eventually plan on transitioning (Grilli) back to the closer's role.”
Grilli and the Pirates decided he didn't need to make a third rehab appearance Wednesday in Durham for Triple-A Indianapolis, which was the original plan. Grilli made appearances for Double-A Altoona on Saturday and Monday. He threw two scoreless innings and struck out four.
“If I want to get out big league hitters, I have to face them,” Grilli said. “I think I showed my arm is where it needs to be, and there's not much to prove for myself. I'm being honest with them. This is not a selfish move on my part. The arm strength has been there.”
Mark Melancon, who has 10 saves in Grilli's absence, will remain the closer temporarily. Grilli has not pitched in a major league game since straining his elbow July 22 in Washington.
“I'm OK with that,” said Grilli of not immediately returning as closer. “I'm not here to interrupt. Any one of these guys can close. Melancon is doing a (heck) of a job.”
The Pirates also recalled reliever Jared Hughes, catcher Tony Sanchez and outfielder Andrew Lambo.
Locke rejoins rotation
Jeff Locke will rejoin the Pirates' rotation Saturday in St. Louis. He is expected to match up against Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright. Locke, who has struggled in the second half after making a trip to the All-Star Game, had his last start skipped. He was briefly demoted to Double-A.
Locke has posted a 6.18 ERA in the second half of the season after a 2.15 ERA in the first half.
Hurdle announced A.J. Burnett will start the series opener Friday in St. Louis against Joe Kelly. Charlie Morton will match up against Cardinals rookie Michael Wacha on Sunday.
Locke said he doesn't have physical fatigue. He used the break to self-evaluate.
“You just kind of track back to see if you were doing anything differently?” Locke said. “Not just on the mound, but in between the (starts). Was I taking care of myself differently? Everything has been the same. I just got roughed up a little bit.”
If the Pirates advance to October, they know when they'll be playing.
Major League Baseball released its postseason schedule Tuesday.
The NL wild-card game will be played Oct. 1. Each NL Division Series will begin Oct. 3. The best-of-five series could run until Oct. 10.
The National League Championship Series will begin Oct. 11. Game 1 of the World Series is scheduled for Oct. 23.
The wild-card game and NLCS will be exclusively televised on TBS, along with the majority of Division Series games.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates notebook: Locke the choice to be 5th starter
- Pirates’ outfield may have few defensive peers
- Steelers’ Tomlin, Pirates’ Hurdle share similar philosophy
- Spring training breakdown: Pirates 18, Phillies 4
- Reversing the field: Pirates continue to raid Yankees for hidden skill
- Alvarez latest in Pirates’ revolving door at first base
- Pirates notebook: Polanco’s power outburst a matter of timing
- Spring training breakdown: Pirates 4, Braves 2
- Pirates notebook: Decker leaves game with calf injury
- Pirates notebook: Pitching prospect Taillon makes steady progress
- About face: Pirates’ Burnett now digging the shifts