Jason Grilli Strikes Out Three in Rehab, Then Signs Autographs For an Hour

Jason Grilli rehab
Jason Grilli struck out three in his second rehab appearance. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

Jason Grilli made his second Curve start in three days and was very effective. The Pirates closer threw 14 of his 17 pitches for strikes, striking out three. Adam Abraham struck out swinging on an outside slider that allowed him to reach first base. Grilli fell behind Abraham 2-0 but quickly evened the count with a fastball and slider perfectly placed on the outside corner. Grilli gave up a single up the middle with two outs. The other out came on a weak foul out to third base. Grilli was sitting around 91-92 MPH with his slider at 80-81.

“I felt good,” Grilli said about his one-inning outing. “I’m getting closer. 85% if you want a percentage or number, that’s where I’m at. If you get thrown into a big league game, big league crowd, big league lights, a big league hitter in the box, you get that other 15% from adrenaline. I’m right where I need to be.”

Grilli felt confident in his slider, which he used to strike out two of the batters.

“I’m throwing strikes with it so I’m right where I need to be.”

“I don’t know what my velocity was so I don’t know,” Grilli said when asked about if his power stuff was back. “I’m not hanging my hat on velocity, I know how I feel and I feel really good, no pain…I’m going 100% of what I got right now. It’s getting everything in sync and I feel like, pretty much right now everything is in sync.”

The next stage could be an appearance with Indianapolis on Wednesday, but could return to Pittsburgh, it is still up in the air.

After the game, Grilli walked into the stands and starting signing autographs for fans on his own. Fans quickly got in line to personally meet the Pirates closer, who signed for approximately one hour and 15 minutes.

“I walked up to the fence, I did my work and had some fun with the fans,” Grilli said when asked about the impromptu autograph signings. “I felt bad, I don’t like saying no to a kid. There [were] a lot of kids out there today I didn’t get to do it the last time (on Saturday) and I was trying to get back to Pittsburgh to support my teammates too. You have to balance what your priorities are. Hopefully the fans know that, there’s always that ‘Can you sign one more?’ There’s always one more, but hopefully there’s one more chance to get the kid that you might have missed. I have a job to do. My obligation is to get healthy and help the Pittsburgh Pirates and hopefully the fan that didn’t get the autograph understands that so I try to give back when I have the time and love and respect the game, that’s what it’s all about for me.”

  • What makes it even more impressive is that he didn’t have to go into the stands and start signing autographs. Rehab players usually hit the road right after they are done in the game. It shows Grilli is still grounded and humbled to be in the major leagues after having an up and down career. Just a classy individual.

  • Grilli must be one cool cat (or shark!) given how he acts and performs with such professionalism and joy. Besides really wishing for the Pirates to have a great September and an even better October, I am hoping that Jason Grilli can get back to pitching for the Pirates these next few weeks as he was in April and May. Best of luck, Jason!

  • He was the same way this spring at McKechnie in Bradenton. Signed for everybody after he did his workouts & chatted with anyone who spoke up. Very classy.