The Pirates activated closer Jason Grilli from the disabled list today, a day before he was supposed to continue his minor league rehabilitation assignment.
An expanded September roster allowed the Pirates to recall Jared Hughes, Jeff Locke, Andrew Lambo and Tony Sanchez from Class AA Altoona today.
The four were sent to double-A, rather than triple-A, because Altoona's season ended Monday while Indianapolis is still playing. That allowed them to recall the players more quickly and bypass the 10-day minimum stay in the minors while on optional assignment.
Grilli went on the disabled list July 23 because of a flexor strain in his right forearm. Mark Melancon has served as the closer in his absence.
Manager Clint Hurdle said Monday that he and pitching coach Ray Searage are still discussing how best to manage Grilli's return.
The Pirates skipped one of Locke's starts by optioning him to the minors after a troublesome second half that has seen his ERA and walk rate jump.
Bill Brink: firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter: @BrinkPG. First Published September 3, 2013 8:30 PM