Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 7/24/13
The Pittsburgh Pirates placed All Star closer Jason Grilli on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right forearm on Tuesday. It did not affect them in their contest against the Washington Nationals, in which they prevailed 5-1. Jason Grilli (Photo Credit: AP Photo/Gene Puskar) The 36-year-old is in his first season as a closer and he is blossoming but good. So far this season, Grill Cheese has an NL leading 30 saves, 153 ERA+ and 0.921 WHIP. The Pirates are 20 games over .500 at 59-39. This team hasn’t had a winning season nor a playoff berth since 1992. They showed signs of life in 2011 and 2012 before faltering. With Grilli in the closer’s role, they have raised the Jolly Roger time and time again, but that doesn’t mean they should hit the panic button with him being out. Neal Huntington has done an amazing job as the general manager of this ball club. The moves he has made have really paid off. Perhaps the most notable is what he did this past offseason when he shipped another former All Star closer in Joel Hanrahan to the Boston Red Sox. They got prospect Jerry Sands in return, as well as reliever Mark Melancon. It hasn’t just been Grilli who has made life at the box a nightmare for opposing batters. The 28-year-old Melancon earned an All Star selection this season. He has a 376 ERA+ and 0.803 WHIP. Granted, he was selected as a replacement, but he has just been downright nasty that he should’ve gone to Citi Field on his own merit. Manager Clint Hurdle said Melancon is going to assume closer duties while Grilli is on the shelf, and if he does well, one would have to think he’ll get a full time job in that slot if not in Pittsburgh then somewhere else. Granted, relievers and setup men don’t always transition well into the closer’s job, but with what he is doing, Pittsburgh should be just fine without him. At 3.07, they have the best team ERA in all of baseball. With 36 saves, only the Baltimore Orioles have more with 39. With a 1.18 WHIP, they are tied for the lowest in the game along with the Cincinnati Reds and Oakland Athletics. Gerrit Cole hasn’t been as good of a rookie as Jose Fernandez or Shelby Miller, but it’s hard to be unhappy with his performance, and All Star lefty Jeff Locke and his 168 ERA+ is a big reason why Pittsburgh’s pitching stats are in the shape it is in. They are firing on all cylinders and though their offensive stats as a whole aren’t quite as impressive, they are still putting up runs. There is no doubt this team would love to have Grilli back out there on the mound closing games out there as soon as possible, but it’s far from the end of the world as he’ll likely be back soon, and the chances of an astronomical collapse that they fail to have a winning season again have to be slim to none.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Rick Reilly sends awkward tweet during Super Bowl 50

Eli did not look thrilled after Peyton locked up Super Bowl

Peyton Manning ‘going to drink a lot of Budweiser’ after win

Panthers' Josh Norman crying after losing Super Bowl

Where Peyton Manning ranks among Super Bowl era QBs

Peyton Manning declines to comment on possible retirement


Mike Carey not heard from again after being wrong earlier

Von Miller forces Cam Newton fumble to secure Super Bowl win

With cryptic tweet, did Marshawn Lynch just hang up his cleats?

NFL shows off every Super Bowl MVP in history

Jordan Norwood breaks off longest punt return in Super Bowl history

Beer company trolls Seth Rogan after Super Bowl commercial

Five biggest boneheaded plays of Super Bowl 50

WATCH: Cam Newton gives questionable effort to recover fumble

Lions say Calvin Johnson's future still not determined

How Louisville basketball bungled their self-imposed ban

Ted Ginn Jr. whiffs on football twice on one play, results in Panthers turnover

Kony Ealy makes one-handed interception of Peyton Manning

Mike Carey gets another call wrong on incomplete pass in SB

Steph Curry beats Panthers' "Keep Pounding" drum

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

WATCH: Panthers' Jonathan Stewart leaps over pile for TD

Aqib Talib commits three awful penatlies in first half of SB

WATCH: Broncos score TD after Von Millers sacks Cam Newton

WATCH: Luke Kuechly sacks Peyton Manning

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker