Jason Grilli has vowed to pitch again this season after being shut down with a strained flexor muscle in his forearm and so far so good.
Grilli is slated to play catch for the first time this weekend and the Pirates closer told Jenn Menendez of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette that he’s “making progress as scheduled, as hoped, as planned.”
Grilli was initially given a 4-8 week recovery timetable on July 26, so there’s still a long way to go before the Pirates can start thinking about their late-inning bullpen situation. In the meantime Mark Melancon will continue to fill in as closer and has converted all five save chances since Grilli went down.
Pirates infielder Gift Ngoepe, just called up from Triple-A Indianapolis, singled in his first major league at-bat on Wednesday evening against Cubs starter Jon Lester. It was a well-struck ground ball up the middle in the bottom of the fourth inning. Unfortunately for him, the Pirates could not bring him around to score.
Ngoepe, who was pinch-hitting, stayed in the game to play second base.
Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Monday due to inflammation in his right elbow. He had a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Tuesday and is currently awaiting a third opinion from Dr. James Andrews, Craig Grialou of Arizona Sports reports. That he’s getting a third opinion seems to imply that Miller’s elbow issue is rather serious.
Miller, 26, hasn’t been able to catch a break since joining the Diamondbacks. Last year’s nightmarish season included a finger injury stemming from mechanical woes and a brief demotion to the minor leagues. In 20 starts in the majors last year, Miller posted an ugly 6.15 ERA. This year, his ERA is a mediocre 4.09 over four starts.
The Diamondbacks called up Zack Godley to take Miller’s spot in the rotation. There was some speculation that it would be Archie Bradley instead, but he’s been working out of the bullpen.