The Pittsburgh Pirates have removed Jason Grilli from the closer’s role, Clint Hurdle announced to the media this afternoon. Grilli will be replaced by Mark Melancon. Jenn Menendez says that Grilli will get work when the team is behind.
Pirates Jason Grilli is being moved out of the closer role for now, said Mgr. Clint Hurdle. He'll get opportunities while club is behind.
— Jenn Menendez (@JennMenendez) June 20, 2014
Yesterday, Max Fogle detailed the struggles from Grilli this year. Last night I wrote that the Pirates needed to switch to Melancon. This is a move that makes sense in the short-term and long-term. Grilli was struggling, while Melancon has been pitching well and looks to be the better option right now. You don’t want to release Grilli based on a small sample size of innings, but you don’t want him pitching important innings while he’s trying to get things figured out. Having him pitching when the team is behind is a good situation for him. It gives him low pressure innings, and allows the Pirates to use their better relievers when they’re ahead.