Pirates place closer Jason Grilli on the DL with a strained left oblique [Update: Not yet!]

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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:

Report: MLB owners want a 48-game season

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We’ve heard the back and forth between players and owners on money, on safety, on the size and the shape of the season. But not until now have we heard just how little baseball Major League Baseball and its owners actually want: 48 games.

That’s all they want, at least if they have to, as agreed, pay players their prorated salaries on a per-game basis. That’s the report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan, who writes this morning on the state of the current negotiations.

Passan’s article has a lot more than that. It contains a number of financial calculations about how much teams say they stand to lose per game played under any given scenario. That said, given the near total opacity when it comes to owner finances, we have no real way to evaluate the claims. The players have a bit more access to league financials, but even they are reported to be unsatisfied with what the owners have shared in that regard. So, while interesting, nothing Passan presents there is really convincing. It stakes out the positions of the parties but doesn’t really tell us much about the merits.

Which is to say that a 48-game schedule sounds like either (a) a bluff aimed at getting the players to offer financial concessions; or (b) a declaration from the owners that they’d prefer almost no baseball if it means that they have to lose any money. The whole “we’ll happily take the benefits of a good market but won’t bother if there’s a chance we might lose money” approach I’ve lambasted in this space before.

We’ll see soon which it is.