First Pitch

First Pitch: Jason Grilli Is a Luxury, and the Bullpen Will Be Fine

First Pitch: Jason Grilli Is a Luxury, and the Bullpen Will Be Fine

I feel like I'm traveling back in time with tonight's article. About seven months ago the Pittsburgh Pirates re-signed Jason Grilli. Joel Hanrahan was still on the roster, so Grilli was viewed as a great set-up man. Then, a few weeks later, Hanrahan was traded to the Boston Red Sox, with Mark Melancon being one of the key pieces coming back. This led to two exhausting off-season debates.

It wasn't long ago that many questioned whether Jason Grilli could close. (Photo by: David Hague)

1. Can Jason Grilli Close?

On one side of this debate, you had people who believe the ninth inning is sacred. That it takes a special skill to pitch in the ninth inning, and that even if you have dominant numbers in the eight inning, you might not have that special stuff to get three outs in a different inning.

On the other side of the debate you have people who are only looking at the numbers. They don't believe that it takes anything special to close, other than a really good reliever. They k...

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Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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