Bucs yet to determine Grilli's next step

Bucs yet to determine Grilli's next step

PITTSBURGH -- Jason Grilli threw a 25-pitch bullpen session on Friday, and plans are for him to repeat the exercise on Sunday. He and Pirates staffers agree that he continues to feel good physically and edgy mentally.

What they may not completely agree on is the eventual next step in his comeback from a strained left oblique.

Grilli is not convinced that he will need a Minor League rehab outing "as long as I'm throwing well to guys in sim games here, and using all my pitches."

Manager Clint Hurdle opined, "I think he's going to need some [rehab time]. We'll get his thoughts; he's a part of this."

On April 26, in the wake of two identical blown saves against the Brewers, both on Ryan Braun home runs, Grilli went on the disabled list. Assuming the closer role, Mark Melancon has earned three saves in four opportunities.

Hurdle indicated that the job will be Grilli's when he returns. Before his injury, Grilli had converted four of seven saves.

"I hate to take a guy's job away because of an injury," Hurdle said. "Grilli is feeling fine again. He is starting to feel aggressive."

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.