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Mark Melancon

  1. Joel Hanrahan to showcase for teams next week

    Apr 11, 2014, 7:25 PM EDT

    Joel Hanrahan

    Joel Hanrahan will show off for interested teams in the hopes of finding work after having recovered from Tommy John surgery.

  2. The Pirates have made velocity an organizational focus

    Mar 30, 2014, 8:15 PM EDT

    Gerrit Cole

    Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wrote an intriguing column about the rise in fastball velocity across Major League Baseball. In 2008, the average fastball in the Majors registered at 90.9 MPH; in 2013, it was 92 MPH. A change of 1.1 MPH over a six-year period may seem small, but when hundreds of thousands of fastballs…

  3. 2014 Preview: Pittsburgh Pirates

    Mar 26, 2014, 11:29 PM EDT

    clint hurdle getty

    Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2014 season. Next up: The Pittsburgh Pirates. The Big Question: Is regression inevitable? The Pirates’ long-term trajectory looks good. 2013 National League MVP Andrew McCutchen is…

  4. Red Sox showing interest in bringing back Joel Hanrahan

    Feb 8, 2014, 8:25 PM EDT

    Joel Hanrahan Getty

    Despite posting a 9.82 ERA in 7 1/3 innings and having to undergo surgery on his right elbow last season, the Red Sox are considering bringing reliever Joel Hanrahan back, according to WEEI’s Rob Bradford. The Sox traded for Hanrahan and Brock Holt in December 2012, sending Ivan DeJesus, Mark Melancon, Stolmy Pimentel, and Jerry…

  5. Ranking the bullpens: 2014 edition

    Feb 7, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    Detroit Tigers v Atlanta Braves

    We tried this with the rotations the other day. Once again, I’ll be dipping into my 2014 projections here to rank the bullpens. To come up with the following bullpen ERAs, I simply combined each team’s seven highest-IP relievers, according to my projections. AL Royals – 2.93 Red Sox – 3.14 Athletics – 3.16 Rangers…

  6. Koji Uehara is your ALCS MVP

    Oct 20, 2013, 12:28 AM EDT

    ALCS - Boston Red Sox v Detroit Tigers - Game Five

    Closer Koji Uehara has been Mr. Dependable for the Red Sox all year long and he’s finally been rewarded for it. Not only does he get to pitch in the World Series, he will go home tonight with some hardware, earning MVP of the ALCS for a sterling effort, notching three saves in as many…

  7. Allen Craig cleared for more baseball activity

    Oct 11, 2013, 7:45 PM EDT

    allen craig getty

    Cardinals first baseman-slash-outfielder Allen Craig has been cleared for more baseball activity, reports Brian Stull on Twitter. He has been sidelined since early September due to a Lisfranc injury in his right foot, ending the regular season with a .315/.373/.457 line and 97 RBI in 563 plate appearances. Cardinals GM John Mozeliak has not ruled out…

  8. Pedro Alvarez’s eighth-inning RBI single helps Pirates take 2-1 lead in NLDS

    Oct 6, 2013, 7:39 PM EDT

    Pittsburgh Pirates v St Louis Cardinals - Game Two

    Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez finished the 2013 regular season with a .180/.252/.286 line against left-handed pitching. Not exactly his cup of tea. But he came through in a big spot against lefty reliever Kevin Siegrist, delivering a tie-breaking RBI single to right, putting the Pirates up 4-3 in the eighth inning. Siegrist, by the…

  9. Carlos Beltran takes Mark Melancon deep in the eighth to knot Game 3 at 3-3

    Oct 6, 2013, 7:08 PM EDT

    Division Series - St Louis Cardinals v Pittsburgh Pirates - Game Three

    The legend of Carlos Beltran is growing to epic proportions. The 36-year-old entered the 2013 post-season with a 1.154 OPS in 151 post-season plate appearances. He hit his 15th career playoff home run in Game 1 on Thursday, tying Babe Ruth for the eighth-most all-time. Beltran passed the Bambino with his 16th career playoff home…

  10. The Pirates will continue to go with Jason Grilli as their closer

    Sep 23, 2013, 7:18 PM EDT

    Jason Grilli Getty

    Jason Grilli was eased back into things as a set-up man after returning from a forearm strain earlier this month, but Pirates manager Clint Hurdle told Tom Singer of MLB.com this afternoon that they will rely on him as their closer the rest of the way. Grilli notched his first save since July 21 on…

  11. Red Sox’s turnaround more about incumbents than newcomers

    Sep 21, 2013, 12:15 AM EDT

    Boston Red Sox v San Francisco Giants

    We’ve heard it a million times now: the Red Sox changed the clubhouse culture for the better when they brought in Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli, Jonny Gomes and Ryan Dempster over the winter. And that’s certainly true. I imagine this has been the best Red Sox team to cover in several years, and they do,…

  12. Reds come back in ninth, beat Pirates in 10

    Sep 20, 2013, 11:35 PM EDT

    Jordy Mercer

    A Jordy Mercer error on a routine grounder to shortstop opened the door for the Reds to score three runs in the ninth, and Joey Votto hit a go-ahead homer in the 10th as Cincinnati won in Pittsburgh 6-5 on Friday. The result leaves the two teams with identical 88-66 records behind the soon-to-be 90-64…

  13. And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

    Sep 19, 2013, 7:12 AM EDT

    Chris Davis

    Orioles 5, Red Sox 3: Chris Davis with a two-run single in the 12th to win the game. Wei-Yin Chen gave up 11 hits but someone only three runs in five and two-thirds. Baltimore remains one back in the wild card. The Sox’ magic number for the division remains at three. Braves 5, Nationals 2: They’re…

  14. Justin Morneau’s first RBI as a Pirate proves to be the difference in win over the Cubs

    Sep 15, 2013, 6:05 PM EDT

    Justin Morneau

    It took 14 games and 50 trips to the plate, but first baseman Justin Morneau finally got his first RBI as a member of the Pirates this afternoon. His one-out, eighth-inning single to left drove in Andrew McCutchen to put the Buccos up 3-2. Morneau has yet to homer with his new club, and he…

  15. Dennis Eckersley: Closing “not as tough as you think”

    Sep 6, 2013, 9:55 PM EDT

    Dennis Eckersley

    For years, we have been inundated with the sentiment that there is nothing tougher, nothing that requires more focus and mental fortitude than being a Major League closer. Former Athletics closer Dennis Eckersley, who authored two of the best relief seasons of all time in 1990 (0.61 ERA. 48 saves) and ’92 (won the AL…

  16. Craig Kimbrel just lowered his ERA to 0.94

    Sep 3, 2013, 10:13 PM EDT

    Craig Kimbrel

    It’s old hat now, but Braves closer Craig Kimbrel is once again threatening to post a sub-1.00 ERA. He’s at 0.94 after pitching a scoreless inning for his 44th save Tuesday against the Mets. Kimbrel finished last year at 1.01. There was actually some concern about Kimbrel after he got off to a rough start…

  17. Pirates activate closer Jason Grilli

    Sep 3, 2013, 6:53 PM EDT

    grilli getty

    The first-place Pirates are getting a nice boost. According to beat reporter Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, right-hander Jason Grilli has been activated from the disabled list and will be available to pitch in Tuesday night’s game against the Brewers. Mark Melancon will remain the Bucs’ closer in the immediate future, but Grilli can…

  18. Jason Grilli beginning minor league rehab assignment Saturday

    Aug 31, 2013, 5:30 PM EDT

    Jason Grilli AP

    After suffering a right forearm strain in July, Pirates closer Jason Grilli vowed to make it back before the end of the season. And he’s well on his way to meeting that goal. According to Tom Singer of MLB.com, Grilli will begin a minor league rehab assignment with Double-A Altoona today and throw around 20…

  19. Francisco Liriano pitches a gem, blanks Cardinals over eight innings

    Aug 30, 2013, 10:15 PM EDT

    Francisco Liriano

    Francisco Liriano was down on his luck when the Pirates signed him to a one-year, $1 million deal in February. He was coming off a year in which he posted a combined 5.34 ERA with the Twins and White Sox, the third time in four seasons he had posted an ERA in the fives. Liriano…

  20. Jason Grilli aiming to rejoin Pirates in September

    Aug 17, 2013, 4:45 PM EDT

    Jason Grilli AP

    Jason Grilli‘s feel-good season took an unfortunate turn last month when he was diagnosed with a strained flexor muscle in his right forearm, but he’s hoping that the story has a happy ending. James Santelli of Pirates Prospects was told by Pirates manager Clint Hurdle that Grilli is making “good progress” and will throw from…

  21. Jason Grilli ready to throw, “making progress as scheduled”

    Aug 9, 2013, 11:19 AM EDT

    Pittsburgh Pirates v Cincinnati Reds

    Jason Grilli has vowed to pitch again this season after being shut down with a strained flexor muscle in his forearm and so far so good. Grilli is slated to play catch for the first time this weekend and the Pirates closer told Jenn Menendez of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette that he’s “making progress as…

  22. Jason Grilli doesn’t need surgery, likely out 4-8 weeks

    Jul 26, 2013, 3:20 PM EDT

    Pittsburgh Pirates v Cincinnati Reds

    Jason Grilli made a visit to Dr. James Andrews to have his forearm injury examined and the Pirates’ closer got some (relatively) good news: He doesn’t need surgery. Grilli left Monday’s game with forearm pain and was quickly placed on the disabled list, but Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that Dr. Andrews…

  23. Pirates place closer Jason Grilli on the disabled list

    Jul 23, 2013, 4:10 PM EDT

    Jason Grilli

    Jason Grilli‘s transformation from journeyman middle reliever to stud closer will be put on hold for at least two weeks, as the Pirates placed him on the disabled list with a strained forearm. Grilli left last night’s game in the ninth inning accompanied by a trainer and in obvious pain, and he’s apparently on his…

  24. Jason Grilli exits game with right forearm discomfort

    Jul 22, 2013, 11:01 PM EDT

    Jason Grilli

    One of the best feel-good stories of the season took an unfortunate turn this evening, as ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that Pirates closer Jason Grilli left a game against the Nationals in the ninth inning with right forearm discomfort. Grilli was in obvious pain after he threw a pitch that was fouled off by Steve…

  25. All-Star roster fun: McCann, Melancon, Romo, Balfour, Holland, Tillman added

    Jul 14, 2013, 7:15 PM EDT

    Brian McCann AP

    The weekend preceding the All-Star Game festivities is always fun because the list of actual All-Stars expands by about ten players as injured players step down and would-be snubs finally get their call. Today, American League Sunday starters Bartolo Colon of the Athletics, Hisashi Iwakuma of the Mariners, and Justin Verlander of the Tigers were…

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