#Pirates also recall Jason Grilli from his rehab assignment & he has been reinstated from the D.L. He is also active for tonight's game— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) September 3, 2013
Grilli was supposed to pitch at least once with Indianapolis during their playoff series with Durham this week (it was my understanding that he was supposed to start in Durham tomorrow. That was causing a bit of a dilemma for me, because I'd like to go see Indy play this week and I'd like to see Grilli, too, but also the Pirates are dangerously close to clinching their first winning season in 20 years and I'm not missing that if I can help it.
It's really hard to understate how important Grilli might be to a stretch run. Mark Melancon is obviously incredible and Tony Watson has been borderline unhittable for a month (since August 6th, Watson's made 12 appearances and thrown 14 innings; he's allowed nine hits, zero runs, zero walks, and struck out 11), but the Pirates have constantly seemed to be one reliever short from really being able to shut the game down the way they could earlier in the season. Obviously, Grilli can be that reliever.
There's been some question over exactly what role he'll return to (Clint Hurdle has indicated that he might not immediately put him back into the closer's role to allow him to settle back in), but that hardly matters. Grilli was having a ridiculously good season that landed him on the All-Star team (66 strikeouts and 10 walks over 42 1/3 innings to go with his 2.34 ERA, all of which just feels silly to type out) and the cover of Sports Illustrated. Six weeks ago, Grilli was clutching his elbow on the mound a week after appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated. It looked like his season and maybe even his career was over. Tonight, he's back in the bullpen. If he's healthy, the end of games just changed considerably for the better for the Pirates.
Do we know yet whether his limited effectiveness prior to his going on the DL was a symptom of the injury that eventually put him on the DL, or fatigue, or...?
Just last night my wife asked me, "If you could spend an evening with any current athlete from any sport, who would it be?"
Wow. Sure, Cutch would be up there. He seems like a really low key guy for a superstar. Polamalu? Damn. Well sure. Leaving Pittsburgh: people seem to love Peyton Manning. Sid the Kid? Too young, I'm almost 60. The Olympic guys & gals, I don't really know any of their personalities. Hoops, forget it, I don't watch.
I picked Jason Grilli. I like the fact that he's been down, and kept working, and he reached the top late in his career. He seems really well grounded, like the kind of guy who would appreciate a good barbecue.
Welcome back, Cheese man!