PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — The Pirates have placed closer Jason Grilli on the 15-day disabled list with a right forearm strain.
Grilli was in visible discomfort after his first pitch to Washington pinch-hitter Stephen Lombardozzi Monday night, and was pulled with the Nationals down to their last two strikes before Vin Mazarro saved a 6-5 Pirates win at Nationals Park.
He will have an MRI in Pittsburgh some time in the immediate future. Michael Sanserino of the Post-Gazette reports GM Neal Huntington’s knee-jerk reaction to the injury, upon personal examination, was optimistic.
Pirates broadcaster Greg Brown told MLB Network he spoke with Grilli, who said the injury was just below the elbow, and speculates the 36-year-old All-Star will return, at best, by September.
Grilli had finished 30 of his first 31 save opportunities with a 2.34 ERA, and was credited with a hold despite his exit.
Concurrently, the Pirates have tabbed reliever Vic Black from Triple-A Indianapolis to make his Major League debut, while also recalling infielder Josh Harrison from the Indians.
To make room for returning second baseman Neil Walker, who will bat seventh between Garrett Jones and Jordy Mercer Tuesday night, the club has designated utility man Brandon Inge for assignment.
Black, 25, has looked good lately as Indy’s closer, posting a 2.31 ERA and 0.94 WHIP, striking out 51, and walking 13 in 35 innings of work, collecting 15 saves.
Harrison, who has bounced between the majors and minors the last couple years, has had a fine minor-league campaign in 2013, batting .313 with an .881 OPS. He has clubbed 29 doubles and driven in 34 runs while stealing 19 bases in 64 games with Indianapolis. In 17 games with the Pirates this year, however, he has gone just 2-for-16.
Inge, whose struggles off Clint Hurdle’s bench were well documented, managed a mere .181 average with four extra-base hits and seven RBI as a free agent acquisition. He struck out 32 times and walked just twice in 105 at-bats over 50 major-league games in 2013.
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