Analysis

Grilli Will Be Bucs Eighth Inning Guy

Grilli Will Be Bucs Eighth Inning Guy

PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- Once the Pirates starting pitcher is taken out of the game, the role of the bullpen is to get the ball to closer Joel Hanrahan to end the game. After tough competition from the 'pen during spring training, the bullpen is starting to shape up and roles are starting to become more clear.

And one of those roles is Hanrahan's set up man. Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle said that guy is right-hander Jason Grilli.

"We’ve broken down our bullpen internally," Hurdle said. "We have options from the seventh to get through the eighth. I think Grilli will probably be the first guy we will anticipate getting the ball to in the eighth."

Grilli, who the Pirates acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs in late July in 2011, embraces pitching in the late inning.

"You want to always work towards something to continue to get better," Grilli said. "And at my age, I hate to say that, but I’ve worked so hard to get to this point that it’s a feather in the c...

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