Grilli retired three of the four batters he faced in Tuesday's 12-2 win over the Astros, working around a double to turn in a scoreless ninth inning.
Grilli has turned in three scoreless outings in a row, but don't expect him to gain much traction in higher-leverage situations in the near future with his ERA still sitting at 5.65 for the season. The fact that the 40-year-old was used in the ninth inning of a 10-run game speaks to his low standing in the bullpen pecking order.
Grilli pitched the seventh inning in Tuesday's 5-4 loss to the Mets, surrendering one run on one hit and one walk and striking out two.
Asdrubal Cabrera's RBI double off Grilli gave the Mets a 5-3 lead at the time, which would prove to be the decisive run after the Rangers' Robinson Chirinos made things interesting in the ninth inning with a solo blast. While the loss doesn't fall on Grilli's shoulders, he has yet to establish himself as a reliable option in the late innings for Texas since coming over in an early-July trade with the Blue Jays. In his 10 appearances with the club, he's allowed six runs (five earned) and has walked six batters over 10 frames.
Grilli recorded just one out during his relief appearance in Wednesday's 22-10 loss to the Marlins and was charged with four runs on two hits and two walks.
Grilli was roughed up more than any of the other five relievers the Rangers used on the night, but his ugly appearance will likely fly under the radar after starter Yu Darvish was lit up for a career-high 10 runs in what could have been his final outing as a member of the Rangers. Prior to the disastrous showing, Grilli hadn't allowed an earned run in his 10 appearances with Texas, so manager Jeff Banister shouldn't have too many reservations about turning back to the veteran reliever in the future.
Grilli (2-5) took the loss Sunday in Kansas City after allowing the winning run on two hits and one walk with one strikeout in two-thirds of an inning.
Grilli was acquired from the Blue Jays earlier this month to shore up Texas' disastrous bullpen, but this outing suggests he isn't an upgrade in high-leverage situations. Tasked with pitching the bottom of the ninth in a tie game, Grilli promptly loaded the bases with one out. He gave Rangers fans hope by striking out Jorge Bonifacio, then induced a weak flyball from Lorenzo Cain, only to see right fielder Shin-Soo Choo lose sight of the ball in the sun. Grilli was still charged with an earned run as a result, increasing his ERA to 6.56 on the season.
Grilli tossed a perfect inning in his team debut during Monday's 7-5 loss to the Red Sox in 11 innings. He struck out two batters and induced a flyout.
Grilli, who was acquired from the Blue Jays on Sunday, was added to the 25-man roster Monday, replacing Dario Alvarez in the Texas bullpen. The Rangers recently demoted Matt Bush from the closer's role and placed Bush's top potential replacement, Keone Kela (shoulder), on the disabled list Monday, so it wouldn't be surprising if Grilli entered the mix for saves on a short-term basis once he gets a few appearances under his belt.
Grilli was traded Sunday to the Rangers along with cash considerations in exchange for minor-league outfielder Eduard Pinto, Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
The Rangers pulled Matt Bush from the closing role after he allowed three runs and recorded just one out Friday against the White Sox, so Grilli enters a Texas bullpen that's ripe with opportunity. It's unlikely that he'll factor into the closing mix right away, however, especially after the Blue Jays designated him for assignment last week on the heels of his 6.97 ERA and 1.60 WHIP over 20.2 innings. Still, given that he possesses the most prior closing experience of any pitcher on the Rangers' staff, it wouldn't be surprising if Grilli ultimately saw some save chances if none of the team's internal options are able to seize control of the closing role. Grilli will join the team ahead of Monday's home opener against the Red Sox and will likely be ticketed for middle-relief work initially.
Grilli was designated for assignment by the Blue Jays on Tuesday.
The 40-year-old posted a 6.97 ERA and 1.60 WHIP with 23 strikeouts over 20.2 innings of work with the Blue Jays this season. Grilli struggled in spring training and hit rock bottom when he allowed four home runs to the Yankees in early June, but he could still garner some interest as a veteran bullpen piece.
Grilli recorded two outs while allowing four solo home runs Saturday against the Yankees. According to the Associated Press, he's the first reliever in team history to surrender four long balls in a single inning.
Grilli is typically a good sport with the press, but he's clearly not in a good place and refused to speak to reporters after the game. It's safe to say he holds no fantasy value at this point.
Manager John Gibbons said that he still wants Grilli to take on a high-leverage role out of the bullpen -- a job he was recently demoted from -- but noted that the reliever needs to work out some kinks before that happens, Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun reports.
Grilli struggled through most of the season so far, but he's beginning to show signs of rounding into form. "I do think he looks better. I think his velocity is coming back a little bit," Gibbons said. "I think his slider's better. That's what was worrying me a little bit, the slider. It started to roll a little bit or getting the big sweeping one. And that's always been the pitch he would go to when behind the count, he can drop that in at will, a good one. But he looks a lot better." Grilli logged 21 holds in 46 games with Toronto last year, but relinquished his set-up role this season to Joe Smith after racking up three losses and a 10.38 ERA in his first 10 appearances. Even with Gibbons' encouraging words, the veteran is no longer in control of his own fate. Smith has been dominant in the eighth-inning role, and Grilli won't get that job back unless the former slips up at some point.
Grilli will be moved into a low-leverage role as Joe Smith takes over setup duties, Jays Journal reports.
Grilli's spring training struggles carried over into the regular season. Now in his 12th MLB campaign, the veteran has posted career-worst numbers (7.71 ERA and 1.79 WHIP) through 18 appearances. Despite entering the season with high hopes for another year of 20-plus holds -- not to mention a possible run at double-digit saves -- Grilli is now unworthy of a roster spot in most fantasy formats.
Grilli's lackluster performance has concerned Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star reports.
Grilli, who has allowed five earned runs (and a pair of homers) over his last two outings, owns an outlandish 10.38 ERA and 1.96 WHIP through 8.2 innings this season. He's allowed a runner to reach base in eight of 11 games, and the setup man currently holds a disappointing 10:7 K:BB. Gibbons has other late-game options if he'd like to explore that route. Joe Smith and Joe Biagini have both been solid, although the latter has run into a few speed bumps lately, too. Grilli will need to start doing a better job if he wants to remain a consistent option in high-leverage situations.
Grilli allowed a hit and one walk, but struck out one Wednesday against the Red Sox en route to his first hold of the season.
The 40-year-old earned 23 holds last season, but he's well off that pace early in the 2017 campaign. Grilli's 1.41 WHIP through six appearances isn't all that encouraging, but his 3.18 ERA over 5.2 innings is decent.
Grilli logged his first save Thursday against the Rays by striking out both batters he faced.
After serving up a home run in his first outing, Grilli turned things around in a big way to close out Thursday's contest. The veteran reliever entered the game with men on second and third with one out, and he managed to limit the damage to one run (albeit due to a wild pitch thrown by him). Thursday's outing showed just how good Grilli can be when he's on, so hopefully this version shows up more frequently than the no-control version of himself while he fills in as the closer for Roberto Osuna (neck).
Grilli is likely to begin the season as Toronto's closer after Robert Osuna was placed on the 10-day DL, Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun reports.
Osuna was able to pitch in spring training, so his placement on the DL is a surprise. Unless Osuna suffered a significant setback, Grilli may only be Toronto's closer for about 10 days. And it's not totally clear that Grilli would get all the save chances. Still, Grilli looks to be the player to grab for saves in the near term.
Grilli has allowed three runs on six hits -- including two home runs -- through four Grapefruit League appearances.
The 41-year-old has been worked into the mix slowly this spring, but look for him to ramp up the intensity over the final days of camp. Grilli's exhibition numbers are nothing to fret about, as the veteran is simply working on locating his fastball and building up his stamina. The Jays' setup man can be counted on to rack up holds while contributing plenty of strikeouts in 2017.
Grilli's usage will be closely monitored by manager John Gibbons this season to ensure that the veteran doesn't get overly fatigued, Steve Buffery of the National Post reports.
In regards to his physical ability to pitch deep into the 2017 season, Grilli has responded to the plethora of doubters with a playful smile. "Why does everybody keep asking me if I was tired [last season]?" said Grilli. But the truth is, the 40-year-old fully understands that he isn't a pup anymore, even though he said he still feels like one. The right-hander's average fastball in 2016 (92.4 mph) was more than a tick below his previous season with the Braves when he notched 24 saves while posting a 2.94 ERA. "I got great genes," the personable pitcher added. "I'm Italian, a lot of olive oil running through the veins. There's a lot of fight in me. Hey, if Bartolo Colon can still do it, I best keep up." Grilli, who was traded to Toronto from the Braves in May, will be the primary set-up man once again this season for the Jays. Owners can expect 20-plus holds and possibly a handful of saves from Grilli during the 2017 campaign.
The Jays exercised the team option on Grilli's contract for the 2017 season, Greg Chisholm of MLB.com reports.
Toronto will pay Grilli $3 million next season after it declined to use the $250,000 buyout on his deal. The move previously had been announced by the club in October, but it did not become official until after the World Series. The right-hander joined the Jays at the end of May in a trade with the Braves. He went on to post a 3.64 ERA in 42 innings while filling a key setup role to closer Roberto Osuna. Grilli, a 14-year veteran, has a career 4.09 ERA with 646 strikeouts over 644.2 innings.
Although he earned his 22nd hold of the season, Grilli contributed to the Orioles' comeback win by allowing two hits, including a solo homer, over 0.2 innings Wednesday.
Grilli is just one of the Jays' relievers that has struggled in recent weeks. The righty has allowed five runs over his last inning of work (he recorded just one out while surrendering four runs in his last appearance), and after starting September with a 3.08 ERA, that mark has ballooned to 4.01.
Grilli came on in a one-run game in the ninth inning and proceeded to allow four runs while recording just one out Monday against the Yankees.
Grilli hadn't allowed a run since September 6, when the same Yankees pushed four runs across against him. The veteran's ERA as a Blue Jay rose from 2.45 to 3.32 after the rough appearance. Grilli should bounce back in his next outing.
Grilli (6-5) pitched a clean eighth inning to pick up the win Monday versus the Rays.
Monday marked Grilli's third clean outing in his four September appearances. The only imperfect outing came Sep. 6 against the Yankees when he allowed four runs while recording just two outs. That game was the veteran's first blown save as a member of the Jays. He's been reenergized since being traded from Atlanta, amassing a 2.72 ERA, four saves and 18 holds while striking out 51 batters over 36.1 innings in a Jays uniform.
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