Pirates rained out; Grilli debut on hold

| Thursday, March 6, 2014, 12:57 p.m.

BRADENTON, Fla. — Jason Grilli's Grapefruit League debut was pushed back a day due to Thursday's rainout against the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Pirates closer is scheduled to follow Wandy Rodriguez against the Minnesota Twins when the teams meet at 1:05 p.m. Friday at McKechnie Field.

Grilli, 37, has been eased into spring training after missing a significant part of the second half of last season with an elbow injury.

Rodriguez also is coming off a year of elbow trouble. He is scheduled to make his second appearance after the spring. Rodriguez debuted with a scoreless first inning Saturday, striking out two batters while showing sharp command. Rodriguez missed the last four months of last season with left elbow tendonitis. Rodriguez is expected to pitch two or three innings.

Jeanmar Gomez, Jameson Taillon and Jared Hughes also are scheduled to pitch against the Twins. Taillon, the team's top-rated pitching prospect, threw two scoreless innings in his first outing last Friday against the Blue Jays.

Due to the rainout, the Pirates will play an additional game Friday, a “B game,” at Pirate city at 10 a.m. Friday. Gerrit Cole, Justin Wilson, Bryan Morris, Stolmy Pimentel, Andy Oliver and Casey Sadler are scheduled to pitch.

Pimentel is fighting for a roster spot and is out of options.

25 agree to 1-year deals

The Pirates announced Thursday they reached one-year contract agreements with 25 players. All of the players either have not reached the major leagues or have pre-arbitration status. The notable players include Cole, Starling Marte, Jaff Decker, Jordy Mercer, Justin Wilson and Jeff Locke. Immediate contract details were not available, but such contracts typically are near the major league minimum.

Rob Biertempfel and Travis Sawchik are staff writers for Trib Total Media. Reach them at rbiertempfel@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib and tsawchik@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Sawchik_Trib.

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