Jason Grilli spoke to reporters Monday for the first time since injuring his right arm last week and he made a promise the Pirates hope their closer can keep.
“I'm going to be ready before the season is out” Grilli said. “You can mark my word on that.”
Grilli is expected to miss 4-to-8 weeks after straining a flexor muscle in his right forearm last week in Washington. The good news for the Pirates is Grilli said the injury is muscular in nature and not related to a tendon. The Pirates said he is not a candidate for surgery.
The flexor muscle starts at the elbow — where Grilli felt pain — and connects to the flexor tendons that attach to bones in the hand.
“It's not a bad thing” said Grilli of the injury being muscular in nature and not related to a tendon tear. “I'm here in the clubhouse and not on a surgery table. For me this is the best-case scenario for right now.”
Grilli is expected to be evaluated after resting for nine to 12 more days. Grilli indicated he will take a conservative approach with his recovery.
“I'm going to take my time and make sure I'm accountable for this stretch run” Grilli said. “I want to be a part of this.”
Grilli said he was pitching with some discomfort prior to his injury.
“I'm not going to put myself in a position where I ask ‘Could I have sat myself down earlier?' That's all hindsight” Grilli said. “I'm the kind of guy that wants the ball. … There are a lot of guys in this game that are not at 100 percent. This is what you do as an athlete. You subject yourself to playing at less than 100 percent.”
Grilli has 30 saves and a 2.34 ERA. He said he's received an overwhelming amount of support since his injury.
“This town the guys in this room it means a lot” Grilli said. “I wear my heart on my sleeve. I'm trying to give all of myself to do what is wanted here in this town for a long time.”