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Pirates notebook: Injured Grilli, Marte, Martin make progress

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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates closer Jason Grilli pitches against the Brewers on Saturday, April 19, 2014, at PNC Park.
Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 7:18 p.m.

MILWAUKEE — Pirates closer Jason Grilli said he was ready to return after throwing a simulated game Wednesday at Miller Park.

Grilli threw two 12-pitch innings against Pirates hitters before Wednesday's game. Grilli has been on the disabled list since April 15 with a left oblique strain.

“I felt great. No problems. I felt like myself. I threw all my pitches,” Grilli said. “Worst case scenario, I'll throw another sim game. I feel ready.”

Grilli said he does not need to make a minor league rehab outing.

“I don't think I need to do that. To get big league hitters out, you have to face big league hitters,” Grilli said. “In facing some of my teammates (Wednesday), I'm coming at them, adrenaline is pumping.”

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle also sounded encouraged after watching Grilli's outing.

Hurdle did not offer any timetable for Grilli's return or if the reliever would immediately be penciled back into the ninth-inning role.

“He had a good day,” Hurdle said. “He felt very good afterwards. I've yet to talk to Ray (Searage) and Neal (Huntington) to know what the next step would be.”

More reinforcements

Pirates starting catcher Russell Martin went through running drills without issue on Tuesday and Wednesday in Milwaukee, and he also took batting practice Wednesday.

“He had another good day today, the running portion of it,” Hurdle said. “He hit live pitching, he took BP. I think we are in a good place with him. He's feeling as good as he ever has. Now we have to put the catching component into it: the squatting, the catching. ... He feels very good.”

Hurdle was mum on whether Martin would need a rehab stint.

“We'll see where it takes itself. There are players that want to go but there are a lot of players that don't want to go,” Hurdle said of rehab stints.

Gomez drops appeal

Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez dropped the appeal of his three-game suspension stemming from his role in the April 20 brawl against the Pirates at PNC Park.

Construction zone

The Pirates announced plans to build a new clubhouse at their spring training home, McKechnie Field, in Bradenton, Fla., and a 10,500-square-foot facility at Pirate City that will include weight training and fitness facilities to support year-round athletic performance and rehabilitation programs.

The projects will be completed by early 2015.

Pirates scout dies

Pirates Latin American scout Daniel “El Pato” Espitia died Tuesday night at age 70. According to Latin American scouting director Rene Gayo, Espitia was revered in Colombia and Latin America. He scouted for the Pirates for the past 20 years.

Travis Sawchik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @Sawchik_Trib.




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