Pirates notebook: Pirates' Grilli expected to be placed on 15-day DL
ST. LOUIS — Pirates closer Jason Grilli has not pitched since Sunday due to a sore left oblique and is expected to go on the 15-day disabled list Saturday.
On Friday, the club attempted to put Grilli on the DL retroactive to Monday and recall Jared Hughes from Triple-A Indianapolis. But that move was voided by MLB because Hughes already was on the active roster Monday in place of injured starter Wandy Rodriguez.
Hughes went back to Indy on Thursday, when Brandon Cumpton was called up to take Rodriguez's spot in the rotation.
When Grilli goes on the DL, the Pirates must call up someone other than Hughes or backdate the move no further than Thursday.
Manager Clint Hurdle said Mark Melancon will close in Grilli's absence. Melancon filled that role last year, when Grilli missed six weeks due to a flexor strain.
Grilli, 37, doesn't expect the oblique injury to keep him down for long.
“If my arm last year was a 10 (on a severity scale), this is a 2,” Grilli said. “It's a long season and you want to be precautionary. I'm only going to hurt myself and the team if I can't be 100 percent.”
Although Grilli has a long injury history, this is the first time he's been sidelined by an oblique. He said the injury has bothered him “for a few days,” but there wasn't one particular moment or pitch to cause the injury.
“It's probably a progressive thing,” Grilli said.
When asked if his oblique bothered him last weekend, when he blew back-to-back save chances, Grilli paused for a long moment before answering.
“I guess you could say that,” he said. “It doesn't matter how it happened. It's happened. I'm just going to try to get healthy and be accountable for being ready the next time I get the ball.”
Grilli is averaging 7.88 strikeouts per nine innings, a significant drop from last season's 13.32 rate. His walk rate per nine innings has risen from 2.34 last year to 4.50.
According to Fangraphs, Grilli's line-drive percentage is up a couple of ticks to 27.3, an indication batters are making solid contact more often against him. Also, 20 percent of the fly balls he's allowed have gone for home runs. Last year, only 8.5 percent of his fly balls were homers.
More surgery for McPherson
Minor league pitcher Kyle McPherson's latest setback will cost him the season.
McPherson had surgery Wednesday to repair a fractured right medial epicondyle, the spot in the elbow where wrist flexors attach to one main tendon. Dr. James Andrews performed the operation.
According to the Pirates, McPherson is expected to return to competition in spring training 2015.
A right-hander, McPherson, 26, had Tommy John surgery July 10.
Transfer rule redux
MLB scrapped its revised version of the transfer rule and went back to ruling that a ball in the glove will be deemed a catch, even if the fielder drops it as he tries to transfer the ball to his throwing hand.
“I think it is (a good move),” Hurdle said. “I'm of the mindset that if something's not working, it needs to be fixed, and the right time to fix it is now. It's going to make the umpire's call easier. And it will serve the initial purpose of helping to keep guys away from injury.”
Friday was the Pirates' first game at Busch Stadium since they lost Game 5 of the 2013 NL Division Series.
Hurdle said he didn't think much about that until Friday morning, when a waitress at a St. Louis restaurant recognized him.
It was the same waitress who served him last October.
“She said, ‘I haven't waited on you since ...' and she stopped,” Hurdle said, grinning. “I said, ‘Since when? Since Game 5?' When she said yes, I said, ‘It's all good. This is game one — game one of this series.”
Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.
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 organization to continue pursuing value free agents in offseason
- Pirates bench coach Jeff Banister named Rangers manager
- Pirates will implement price increase for 2015 tickets
- Pirates notebook: Volquez open to re-signing with team
- Pirates weighing options with Martin
- Pirates notebook: GM Huntington says team will stretch payroll to retain Martin
- Do Pirates have what it takes to end World Series drought?
- Pirates acquire Orioles reliever, designate Tabata for assignment
- Pirates GM Huntington believes his coaching staff will return intact
- Pirates are solid at shortstop with the durable Mercer in play