First Pitch

First Pitch: It’s Time For the Pirates to Make a Switch at Closer

First Pitch: It’s Time For the Pirates to Make a Switch at Closer

Earlier today, Max Fogle wrote about the struggles that Jason Grilli has been having this year, breaking down some of the key problems that might be leading to the poor results. It was actually an article that Max had written before today's game, and was originally set to go up tomorrow morning. However, with the blown save this afternoon, it seemed like an appropriate topic to discuss sooner, rather than later.

Grilli isn't looking good right now, no matter how you look at things. You can take the simple approach of looking at blown saves and ERA, or you can dig deeper and look at his strikeouts, walks, and advanced metrics. No matter what, this isn't the Jason Grilli that was a dominant closer last year, and was a dominant reliever the year before.

One thing to consider here is that we're only looking at a sample size of 18.2 innings. It was only about a week ago that Grilli had a 2.81 ERA in 16 innings this season, with a 17:7 K/BB ratio. The numbers get even better if you rem...

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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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