Recent

0

Grilli Ready to Compete in the ‘Pen

BRADENTON — Whenever Pirates reliever Jason Grilli was given the ball last season with Pittsburgh, he thrived. Grilli pitched from the 5th inning on during the 2011 season, but it was in the back end of the ‘pen that Grilli enjoyed the most.

“I hope that’s my role,” Grilli said of pitching towards the back of the bucco bullpen. “I’ve always taken the ball whenever it’s been given to me, whatever inning that is. I worked my way to being a back end of a bullpen guy thanks to [Pirates Manager] Clint Hurdle. He’s been a very big proponent for me in my career from the time he said, ‘what do you want out of your career?’ I said, ‘I want to be in an important role in key situations’. He felt that I could handle the back end, the later innings. I like that. I always have.”

Grilli, who signed a one-year deal with the Pirates this offseason, will look tohelp hand the ball to closer Joel Hanrahan. But no matter which inning he ends up pitching, Grilli still takes the same mentality on the mound with him.

“I’ve said that even when I was a middle reliever with Detroit, coming into situations where I was in the third, fourth, fifth inning, bases loaded no outs and guys in the middle of the lineup that were up there. I said if I could do this in the middle of the game, I should be able to handle it at the end of the game,” Grilli said. “That’s the way I looked at it. I’ve always tried to challenge myself to be ready and this year is definitely no different. I like what’s going on here, and I want to be a part of it however they see fit.”

Heading into the new season, like many, Grilli said his goal this year is to stay healthy.

“I feel like I’m already ready. It’s more getting all my pitches to sink up and facing some hitters is really the only thing that’s lacking.”

They say age is just a number. And at 35, Grilli is proving just that.

Grilli spent the offseason working out hard to keep up with the younger guys in the Pirates bullpen. Grilli, who is one of many Buccos on twitter, tweeted throughout the offseason about being in the best shape in his life.

“I’m getting older,” Grilli said. I’m 35, I gotta’ keep up.”

After signing as a free agent in July last season, Grilli posted a 2.48 ERA over 28 appearances (32.2 innings) with Pittsburgh. Grilli referred to the 2011 season as a “comeback year” after missing the entire 2010 season due to right knee surgery.

“Last year was more of a comeback year, getting strong, almost losing my career to now, I was able to just get stronger as I regularly would,” Grilli said at day five of spring training at Pirate City. “It’s just something that I kept challenging myself because you have to.”

“I want to keep myself in the best shape because I don’t know when I’m going to say I’m done with this, or the game is done with me. Hopefully it’s the first statement. I want to take the jersey off when I want to, so I got to keep myself in the best shape. I really am pushing myself to limits that I never did before. I’m hoping that mentally and physically it’s going to carry me through a championship season here.”

Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

Hurdle Pleased with First Full Squad Workout

Next Story »

Nutting has Very High Expectations for 2012

  • dcProject

    This guy was really solid last season. Hope he continues to contribute.

Latest Analysis

  • Josh Bell made the move to first base over the off-season. (Photo credit: David Hague)

    Why Should You Care About Prospects?

    13 hours ago

    Yesterday I had a shorter day than usual. The Pirates had cuts at the MLB level, and a road game. The day was shortened at Pirate City, ...

    Read More
  • Gregory Polanco

    Q&A: Trading Prospects For Rentals, Polanco Concerns, Meadows vs Appel

    1 day ago

    I missed the Q&A last week due to a common problem in Spring Training: I forgot what day it was. It was around 6:00 that I was ...

    Read More
  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    3 days ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    5 days ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    6 days ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    6 days ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    1 week ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • JaCoby Jones Josh Bell

    JaCoby Jones Did Fine in the Move to Shortstop, But Needs to Cut Down on Strikeouts

    1 week ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted JaCoby Jones as an outfielder in the third round of the 2013 draft, then surprised everyone the following year when they moved him ...

    Read More
  • Cody Dickson is a lefty with the upside of a middle of the rotation starter. (Photo Credit: Mark Olson)

    The Mental Adjustment that Led to Cody Dickson’s Dominant 2014 Second Half

    1 week ago

    Trusting his stuff and not trying to do too much — that has been the key for left-handed pitcher Cody Dickson so far in his professional baseball ...

    Read More
  • Third Base Mathisen Luplow Joe

    Who’s on Third? In the Pirates’ Farm System, It Could Be Anyone

    2 weeks ago

    If you have ever played third base in your life — professional, college, high school, slow pitch softball — then the Pittsburgh Pirates might be contacting you ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles

    More