Jason Grilli made a visit to Dr. James Andrews to have his forearm injury examined and the Pirates’ closer got some (relatively) good news: He doesn’t need surgery.
Grilli left Monday’s game with forearm pain and was quickly placed on the disabled list, but Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that Dr. Andrews has diagnosed him with a strained flexor tendon.
However, according to Brink he’ll be “re-evaluated in 10-14 days” and 4-8 weeks is a “typical” recovery timetable, which obviously means Grilli won’t be coming off the disabled list when eligible and the rest of his season is potentially in jeopardy.
Mark Melancon is filling in as the Pirates’ closer after Grilli saved a league-leading 30 games with a 2.34 ERA in the first half to make his first All-Star team at age 36.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.