Jason Grilli out as Pirates closer
The Pirates have made a change when it comes to protecting ninth-inning leads.
As noted recently in this very space, Pirates closer Jason Grilli was in danger of losing his job. Now, that's indeed what has happened. Here are the comments of Clint Hurdle via Jenn Menendez of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
“Jason is going to get moved out of the closer’s role and we’re going to him the opportunities to get a few outings in…when we’re behind,” said Hurdle. “He can’t wait to get out there and work on a couple of things. We had a very engaging conversation a few minutes ago. He’s all about doing what’s best for the club, and getting better. We’ll definitely need him as the season continues to play out.”
This season, the 37-year-old Grilli has pitched to a 4.34 ERA and 1.70 K/BB ratio in 18 2/3 innings of work. As well, he's coverted just 73.3 percent of his save opportunities this season. Even though he's coming off a 2013 campaign in which he made the All-Star team, the move is understandable in the here and now.