Grilli, 37, is in his tenth major league season (Marlins, White Sox, Tigers, Rockies, Rangers, Pirates), almost entirely as a reliever. In the three seasons prior to 2014, Grilli appeared in 146 games (saving 36) with an ERA of 2.74, striking out 201 in 141 innings against 50 unintentional walks. Without Grilli the Pirates' bullpen, despite a good ERA, has had difficulty closing out games in 2014, posting a league-leading 11 blown saves to date.
Grilli was the San Francisco Giants' first round pick in 1997. In 1999, while still a minor-leaguer, the Giants traded him to the (Florida) Marlins with Nate Bump for Livan Hernandez. The Chicago White Sox took him from the Marlins in the 2003 Rule 5 draft, kept him the required year (2004), and released him in January 2005. As a free agent, Grilli signed with the Detroit Tigers, who converted him to a full-time reliever. From the Tigers he went to the Rockies and thence to the Rangers, Indians (minors) and Phillies (minors), until he finally "found" himself with the Pirates in 2011, and the rest is history—he was part of an extraordinary bullpen that played a major part in the Pirates' reaching the postseason in 2013 after a 21-year drought. Grilli is on a two-year $6.75 million contract (2013-14).
@NatsLady (Rose Ingberman) and read her blog Lady and the Nats
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