PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – With no official report out yet on the injured right forearm of Jason Grilli, Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington joined the Starkey, Miller and Mueller Show to give us the latest information he has about a potential return for his team’s closer.

“Based on Jason’s feelings and based on the initial reads, there is reason for optimism,” said Huntington. “We’re still gathering data, we’re still gathering information, so we don’t have something to report officially, but the doom and gloom that seems to be hovering around Jason appears to be a little bit premature. He’s in good spirits and is looking forward to getting back on the right track and getting back out there and saving games for the Bucs.”

While Grilli is on the disabled list, Mark Melancon will take over as closer. He pitched the ninth inning on Tuesday against Washington and retired the side with just seven pitches. Again, Huntington is optimistic that the Pirates are still in a good situation.

“Kind of an unheralded role [was] Mark Melancon’s to make sure that the lead we had going into the eighth inning is still there when Jason Grilli comes in the ninth inning. We’re looking forward to Mark closing out games while Jason is down,” said Huntington.

Huntington also touched on the team’s outlook as the trade deadline approaches, saying that his goal is to improve the club in some way for a playoff push, a potential pitch count for Gerrit Cole and how much salary the team is willing to take on at the trade deadline.

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