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Pirates rained out; Grilli debut on hold

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates catcher Russell Martin watches his first homer of the spring during a game against the Rays at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Fla.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates catcher Russell Martin watches his first homer of the spring during a game against the Rays at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Fla.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates closer Jason Grilli pitches in the bullpen during spring training at Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates closer Jason Grilli pitches in the bullpen during spring training at Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Jameson Taillon, the Pirates' top pitching prospect, will have Tommy John surgery and miss the 2014 season.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Jameson Taillon, the Pirates' top pitching prospect, will have Tommy John surgery and miss the 2014 season.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates closer Jason Grilli changes his shoes before a workout at Pirate City during spring training in Bradenton, Fla.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates closer Jason Grilli changes his shoes before a workout at Pirate City during spring training in Bradenton, Fla.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon throws during a game against the Blue Jays at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin, Fla.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon throws during a game against the Blue Jays at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin, Fla.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates catcher Russell Martin takes the field during a game against the Red Sox on Monday, March 3, 2014, at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Fla.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates catcher Russell Martin takes the field during a game against the Red Sox on Monday, March 3, 2014, at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Fla.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates employees pull the rain tarp onto the infield, as rain begins to fall Thursday, March 6, 2014, at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Fla. The Grapefruit League game against the Blue Jays was canceled.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates employees pull the rain tarp onto the infield, as rain begins to fall Thursday, March 6, 2014, at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Fla. The Grapefruit League game against the Blue Jays was canceled.

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Rob Biertempfel and Travis Sawchik
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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