Via the official Pirates Twitter, the club has placed closer Jason Grilli on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique. They recalled Jared Hughes to take Grilli’s place on the 25-man roster. The DL stint is retroactive to April 21.
Grilli allowed runs in his two relief appearances prior to the injury, both a result of Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun. In the top of the ninth on April 19, Braun hit a two-run home run off of Grilli to put the Brewers ahead 8-7. On April 20, Braun tied the game in the ninth with a solo home run off of Grilli. The right-hander hadn’t pitched since then.
Mark Melancon is expected to fill in for Grilli in save situations. The 29-year-old right-hander saved 20 games for the Astros in 2011 and 16 games for the Pirates last season.
Update (8:20 PM): Rob Biertempfel has this interesting update:
Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.
LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.
There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.
The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.