MLB notebook: No date set for Grilli's return

Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Jason Grilli (39) celebrates after defeating the Chicago Cubs 5-4...

Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Jason Grilli (39) celebrates after defeating the Chicago Cubs 5-4 at Wrigley Field on Apr 10, 2014 in Chicago, IL, USA. (Matt Marton/USA TODAY Sports)

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, Last Updated: 8:01 PM ET

Right-handed reliever Jason Grilli took another step forward Sunday night when he threw 25 pitches off a mound before the Pittsburgh Pirates' 6-5 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Pirates don't yet have a timetable for when Grilli, who has been out since April 21 with a strained left oblique, will be activated from the 15-day disabled list or even when he might start a minor league rehab assignment.

Furthermore, manager Clint Hurdle isn't ready to say if Grilli would be the closer upon his return.

Grilli has converted just four or seven saves opportunities this season after going 33-for-35 last year. He is also 0-1 in eight games with a 4.50 ERA.

"I hate to take a guy away from his job because of an injury," Hurdle said. "We want to make sure he's as sharp as he can be, so we'll see."

Setup man Mark Melancon moved into the closer's role when Grilli was injured, and he has converted four of five save chances. Melancon had 16 saves last season while filling in for five weeks while Grilli was on the DL with a strained forearm.

MARLINS' FERNANDEZ TO DL

Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday with a right elbow sprain.

Fernandez had an MRI earlier Monday performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who serves as the head team physician for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Marlins are in Los Angeles for a three-game series with the Dodgers starting later in the day.

The results of the MRI won't be known for a few days, Marlins manager Mike Redmond said.

Redmond added that Fernandez, the 2013 National League Rookie of the Year, flew back to Miami on Monday and will be examined by the club's doctors.

Redmond said Fernandez (4-2, 2.44 ERA) told him he felt discomfort in the elbow after he went five innings and allowed five runs on six hits in a loss to the San Diego Padres on Friday.

"We're going to take care of him and try to take every precaution necessary," Redmond said. "He said he had discomfort, so we immediately are going to get him treatment and the rest he needs."

Left-hander Dan Jennings was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans to replace Fernandez on the club's roster.

RANGERS CONCERNED ABOUT PEREZ

The Rangers' concerns over left-handed pitcher Martin Perez mounted when the team announced that an MRI exam performed Sunday showed inflammation in his left elbow.

A team official said after Sunday's game that a stint on the disabled list is likely.

Perez reported discomfort to team officials on Sunday morning after a third straight subpar outing on Saturday in a loss to the Boston Red Sox. Over his past three starts, Perez is 0-3 with a 12.83 ERA. That followed two shutouts and a scoreless-innings streak of 26 innings.

Team officials were originally hopeful Perez would miss only one start, though the Rangers almost always proceed with caution with injuries, especially with pitchers. Perez had a stint on the disabled list last season after breaking his left wrist in spring training.

The Rangers are expected to recall right-hander Nick Tepesch this week from Triple-A Round Rock and will likely pitch in Yu Darvish's scheduled turn at Houston. That will allow Darvish two extra days' rest after throwing 126 pitches in a no-hit bid Friday.

That will also set up a rotation that avoids right-hander Colby Lewis and left-hander Matt Harrison, both coming off long injury-rehabilitation stints, having to hit in an upcoming interleague series against the Nationals.

Tepesch, who filled out the Rangers rotation out of spring training a season ago, has been good this year, going 6-1 with a 1.58 ERA in the Pacific Coast League.

MATHENY NOT SUNDAY FAN

Hosting the Cardinals on Sunday night was an exciting moment for the Pittsburgh Pirates, even though St. Louis won 6-5. It marked the first time since 1996 that ESPN broadcast a Sunday night game from Pittsburgh.

However, playing on Sunday night is old hat for the Cardinals, perennially one of the best teams in the major leagues. It is so old that manager Mike Matheny is tired of it.

It marked the second Sunday in a row the Cardinals played at night, as they faced the Cubs at Chicago a week earlier. The Cardinals didn't arrive in Atlanta until 4 a.m. Monday, then had a game that night against the Braves.

The Cardinals are facing the same situation again as they open a four-game home series against the Cubs on Monday night. Sunday's night game did not end until just after midnight, and their charter flight wasn't scheduled to leave until close to 2 a.m. EDT.

ESPN can show a team up to six times on its Sunday night broadcasts. When the Cardinals have complained to the network and Major League Baseball in the past about so many late-night games, they got nowhere other than to be told it is a compliment to be on national television so frequently.

"I think a little more consideration needs to be given to the fact that it beats a team up," Matheny said. "I'd like to see the scheduling allow for something that maybe only happens if you have an off day the next day, where you can catch up and are not just thrown back into the saddle.

"I know that's hard to do, but that reply that 'consider yourself lucky' doesn't mean anything to us. Our job is to win games, and I feel this is something that affects us one way or another."​

 


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