Saturday, February 9, 2013

Fantasy Sleeper: Jason Grilli

GrillCheese49. Pretty cool Twitter handle, huh? Here's another Florio Fact about Jason Grilli - his agent is Gary Sheffield. Yup, THAT Gary Sheffield. Looking at the name 'Jason Grilli' does not inspire much. I remember as a youthful middle schooler Grilli being just some major league filler - a AAAA type who gets called up for a spot start, DFA'd a week later and latches on with another team before going over to Japan. Grilli was a starter then. He had a few decent seasons as a middle reliever in Detroit before disappearing in 2010 with a knee injury and after a poor 2009. Grilli worked his way into the set-up role in Pittsburgh for Joel Hanrahan. Now, Hanrahan is gone and Grilli is now a first time closer at 36 years young. Late bloomer?  So, let's see what Grilli can grill up for you (I had to...)

So, in two years with the Pirates, Grilli put up some very good numbers. Over the last two years, Grilli has produced:

  • 2011: 2.48 ERA, 32.2 Innings, 37 K's to 20 BB's
  • 2012: 2.91 ERA, 58.2 Innings, a whopping 90 k's and 26 BB's
Grilli had a phenomenal strikeout rate last year, averaging 13.8/9. He cut his walk rate to one every 2 innings - not quite elite stuff but not up to Carlos Marmol's level of inaccuracy. Grilli has a handle on the job in Pittsburgh, but is a candidate to be moved at the trade deadline, but since he signed a two year deal, I do expect Pittsburgh to hold on to Grilli until they groom a long-term replacement. He's worth a look at closer, and if you follow my fantasy rules and let someone else overpay for closers, you'll do fine.

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