Jason Grilli
Jason Grilli
41-Year-Old PitcherRP
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Grilli was thrust into the closer role to begin the year with Roberto Osuna injured, but Osuna returned after missing the minimum amount of time required by his DL stint and Grilli then proceeded to pitch his way out of Toronto. He lost manager John Gibbons' trust a month into the campaign as opponents clobbered Grilli to the tune of a 3.92 HR/9. The Blue Jays ultimately designated Grilli for assignment and flipped him to Texas for cash considerations. He cut down on the homers after the move and continued to miss bats at a good clip, leading to a 4.14 FIP with the Rangers. That number suggest Grilli can still be a serviceable bullpen arm if he chooses to return for another season at age 41, but his days of seeing save chances are almost certainly behind him. Read Past Outlooks
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$The Blue Jays picked up Grilli's $3 million option for 2017 in November of 2016.
Tosses scoreless inning Tuesday
PTexas Rangers  
August 30, 2017
Grilli retired three of the four batters he faced in Tuesday's 12-2 win over the Astros, working around a double to turn in a scoreless ninth inning.
ANALYSIS
Grilli has turned in three scoreless outings in a row, but don't expect him to gain much traction in higher-leverage situations in the near future with his ERA still sitting at 5.65 for the season. The fact that the 40-year-old was used in the ninth inning of a 10-run game speaks to his low standing in the bullpen pecking order.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
 
 
-5%
BAA vs LHP
2018
No Stats
2017
 
 
-10%
BAA vs LHP
2016
 
 
-6%
BAA vs RHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .231 177 53 31 33 5 2 11
Since 2016vs Right .242 258 76 19 57 13 3 11
2018vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017vs Left .259 64 17 10 14 4 0 4
2017vs Right .288 120 31 8 32 9 0 8
2016vs Left .213 113 36 21 19 1 2 7
2016vs Right .200 138 45 11 25 4 3 3
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
 
 
-16%
ERA on Road
2018
No Stats
2017
 
 
-40%
ERA on Road
2016
 
 
-15%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2016Home 5.37 1.46 57.0 6 6 1 11.7 4.1 2.2
Since 2016Away 4.50 1.36 42.0 3 5 4 11.8 5.1 1.7
2018Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017Home 7.50 1.79 24.0 1 2 0 10.5 3.8 3.4
2017Away 4.50 1.31 16.0 1 3 1 11.3 4.5 1.7
2016Home 3.82 1.21 33.0 5 4 1 12.5 4.4 1.4
2016Away 4.50 1.38 26.0 2 2 3 12.1 5.5 1.7
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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An early-season trade sent Grilli from Atlanta to Toronto, where he resurrected his seemingly fading career. In 46 games as a Blue Jay, the 11-year veteran dominated opponents with a 12.4 K/9 en route to 21 holds and a pair of saves. Grilli allowed an earned run in just six of his 31 appearances during the second half of the campaign, limiting opposing hitters to a .182 BAA during that time. Even with many signs of progress comes indicators of deterioration for Grilli. His overall 4.9 BB/9 was the right-hander's worst mark since 2009 and Grilli's 1.5 HR/9 wasn't only a career high, it was one of the worst ratios in all of MLB. However, the good outweighed the bad in the eyes of the Blue Jays, as they exercised his team option for 2017. He will open the year as the setup man in front of closer Roberto Osuna, and given his experience in the ninth inning, he would be the logical option to step in when Osuna is unavailable.
Grilli was looking like a prime deadline trade candidate for the rebuilding Braves, having turned things around after a disappointing 2014 season with the Pirates and Angels, but a ruptured left Achilles tendon ended his campaign just before the All-Star break. Thrust into the closer role a day before the start of the season with Craig Kimbrel dealt to San Diego, Grilli posted a 25 percent K-minus-BB rate on the strength of a swinging-strike rate right around 15 percent, converting 24 of his 26 save opportunities. His groundball rate fell to a career-low 27.1 percent, down from 32 percent the year before, but Grilli only surrendered two home runs, bringing his total to just 10 allowed in his last three seasons. Now 39, Grilli is said to be on track for the start of camp. While Arodys Vizcaino put his stamp on the closer job after Grilli went down, manager Fredi Gonzalez said he will mix and match with the aforementioned duo, plus Jim Johnson to start the season, although one of the three could emerge as the go-to option in the ninth inning with a strong start to the season.
Grilli was acquired from the Pirates for Ernesto Frieri after the two had trouble closing for their respective teams. There appears to be a clear winner in the deal, however, as Frieri ended up being released by Pittsburgh in September, while Grilli went on to notch a 3.48 ERA with 36 strikeouts in 33.2 innings as a member of the Angels. Grilli's problem with the Pirates seemed to stem almost entirely from sudden jumps in his hit and home run rates, which ballooned to 9.7 H/9 and 1.8 HR/9, respectively, in 20.1 innings in Pittsburgh. Those numbers normalized in his time with the Halos, as he brought his hits per nine down to 7.8 H/9, and did not allow a home run while finishing out the year with his new squad. After signing a two-year deal with the Braves in December, Grilli will work as part of the bridge in front of closer Craig Kimbrel for Atlanta in 2015.
Grilli easily earned his $2.5 million salary with 30 saves through July 22, before a forearm strain sidelined him for six weeks. How he comes back after an offseason of rest remains one of the biggest questions surrounding the 37-year-old in 2014. For the season, Grilli compiled a 2.70 ERA and 1.06 WHIP with a 74:13 K:BB ratio in 50 innings. However, the man Twitter calls "Grilled Cheese" struggled somewhat in his return, albeit in a minuscule sample size - 4.70 ERA, 1.83 WHIP and an opponent's .928 OPS in just 7.2 innings. Grilli's velocity suffered in September, making his spring training more important than usual. Provided he finds his 93-94 mph fastball in the Grapefruit League, he should continue on as the Pirates' closer again in 2014.
Grilli rang up batters at an incredible 13.8 K/9 rate in 2012, compiling a 2.91 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 58.2 frames. He finished fourth in the majors with 32 holds, serving as a solid bridge to closer Joel Hanrahan. At 36, asking Grilli to replicate his 2012 numbers might be asking a bit much. His fastball velocity dropped several mph after July, for reasons unknown. The Pirates re-signed him in December and the plan is for Grilli to begin the year as the team's closer with Hanrahan's trade to Boston. Keep in mind, however, that Mark Melancon could push him for the job if there are any prolonged stretches of struggles.
The Pirates picked up Grilli off the Triple-A scrapheap in 2011 and he responded with the best ERA (2.48) of his nine-year MLB career. His fastball saw a tick up in average speed (92.4 mph) but at 35 there's a good chance he begins to slow down. Grilli proved to be one of Pittsburgh's few reliable relievers down the stretch, but he saved just one game and his second-half effort will be hard to repeat. While it's not out of the question he closes out a game or two for Pittsburgh in 2012, Grilli has totaled two saves in 238 career games.
Grilli pitched reasonably well for a dozen and a half appearances with the Rangers after Colorado cut him loose in June, but he struggled to find his form after returning from an elbow injury. He signed a minor league deal with Cleveland, where he'll likely spend another year in middle relief.
Things that don't repeat: a 1.8 percent HR/FB figure. That's how Grilli, a flyball pitcher, posted a 2.93 ERA in low-leverage relief for the Rockies. Not only will it not happen again, but Grilli probably won't spend all of 2009 in the majors.
Grilli was awful at the start of last season but posted a 3.57 ERA in the second half thanks to a reduced hit rate and only one home run allowed. That improvement should earn him a spot in the Tigers bullpen at the start of this year, but he doesn't deserve much of a look in fantasy leagues as the Tigers figure to use him only in the middle innings.
Grilli managed to spend all of last season in Detroit's bullpen despite a poor 31:25 K:BB in 62 IP. That poor K:BB doesn't bode well for Grilli's future in the majors. He's unlikely to manage another ERA in the low fours again if his command continues to fail him.
Grilli made two starts for the Tigers in September after spending the season starting for Triple-A Toledo. He pitched well enough to have a small shot at a bullpen job this spring.
Grilli was a Rule 5 snag who the White Sox were able to send down to the minors thanks to a Marlins roster crunch. Chicago's hoping he'll be able to win the fifth starter role this spring.
He was unimpressive in 12 Triple-A starts, but the fact that he was even healthy and on a mound at all was an achievement. Once upon a time he was a prospect; if he can stay out of Dr. Andrews' waiting room, he might be again.
More Fantasy News
Lets in decisive run in Tuesday's loss
PTexas Rangers  
August 9, 2017
Grilli pitched the seventh inning in Tuesday's 5-4 loss to the Mets, surrendering one run on one hit and one walk and striking out two.
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Can't escape blowout unscathed
PTexas Rangers  
July 27, 2017
Grilli recorded just one out during his relief appearance in Wednesday's 22-10 loss to the Marlins and was charged with four runs on two hits and two walks.
ANALYSIS
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Gives up walkoff single
PTexas Rangers  
July 16, 2017
Grilli (2-5) took the loss Sunday in Kansas City after allowing the winning run on two hits and one walk with one strikeout in two-thirds of an inning.
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Strikes out two in team debut
PTexas Rangers  
July 4, 2017
Grilli tossed a perfect inning in his team debut during Monday's 7-5 loss to the Red Sox in 11 innings. He struck out two batters and induced a flyout.
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Acquired by Texas
PTexas Rangers  
July 2, 2017
Grilli was traded Sunday to the Rangers along with cash considerations in exchange for minor-league outfielder Eduard Pinto, Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
ANALYSIS
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