Pirates' plans with Grilli


Jason Grilli returned to his role as the Pittsburgh closer on Thursday night, preserving a win over the Dodgers to record his sixth save of the season.

But after missing the final two months of last season with a right forearm strain and sitting out the past month with a strained left oblique, the Pirates will have to be careful with how much they use the 37-year-old veteran.

According to Tom Singer of MLB.com, the Pirates' staff "will be mindful enough of Grilli's workload to make back-to-back appearances uncommon, and three days in a row out of the question."

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle touched on that following the win over the Dodgers.

"We'll keep an eye on his pitches, and get together on what is a serviceable number for him to come back the next day," Hurdle said.

Mark Melancon will slide back to his eighth-inning setup role as long as Grilli is healthy enough to remain the closer, but on days when Grilli can't go (such as the scenarios mentioned above) he'll likely be asked to close again.