Jul 22, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Jason Grilli throws during the ninth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Pirates activate closer Jason Grilli

The news keeps getting better for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Not only are the Pirates a game ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central, but they are getting their closer back.

According to Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Pirates have activated Grilli.

“We’ll use him at least a couple times in non-leverage situations to see how he fares, how he feels,” manager Clint Hurdle said Tuesday. “We eventually plan on transitioning him back to the closer’s role.”

In other words, it sounds like Mark Melancon will remain the closer unless he falls apart or Grilli looks fantastic.

Melancon, who was a disaster for the Boston Red Sox last season, has done an excellent job filling in for Grilli. Melancon has pitched 61.1 innings in 62 games, has an ERA of 0.88 and has given up just six earned runs all season. He has a WHIP of 0.85, has allowed only 44 hits, walked just eight and has 59 strikeout. He’s saved 10 games.

Before injuring his forearm, Grilli had 30 saves and an ERA of 2.34. He threw 42.1 innings in 45 games, had a WHIP of 0.92, allowed 29 hits and 10 walks, while striking out 66.

If Grilli is healthy, the Pirates will enter the postseason with lock-down pitchers in both the eighth and ninth innings.

Tags: Jason Grilli Pittsburgh Pirates

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