Pirates' Grilli working way back to closer role
MILWAUKEE — The Pittsburgh Pirates activated Jason Grilli from the disabled list Tuesday, and the All-Star knows he has some work to do before reclaiming his spot as the team’s closer.
Grilli says he’ll be ready when the time comes.
“I think I showed that my arm is where it needs to be and there’s not really much to prove for myself, and I’m being honest with them,” Grilli said before the Pirates faced the Milwaukee Brewers in the second game of a three-game series.
Pittsburgh won 4-3 on Tuesday to move two games ahead of St. Louis in the NL Central.
“This is not a selfish move on my part,” continued Grilli. “I want to just come and pitch, and when they give me the ball, I’m going to pitch and face some big-league hitters to be the guy that I was, that everybody knows me as. I don’t expect that I’ll be closing games right away. I’m OK with that.”
The 36-year-old right-hander had been on the DL since straining the right flexor tendon in his pitching arm during a 6-5 victory over Washington on July 22.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Grilli will make at least a couple of relief appearances in non-save situations before resuming his role as the closer.
“Our eyes will tell us what to do with him after that, I believe ... his eyes and our eyes,” Hurdle said. “We eventually plan on transitioning him back to the closer role.”