Pirates Notebook: Cedeno, Pearce rejoin major league roster

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The Pirates activated infielder Steve Pearce and shortstop Ronny Cedeno from the disabled list Friday and recalled them from their rehabilitation assignments.

The Pirates also optioned reliever Chris Leroux to Class AAA Indianapolis to make room for Jason Grilli, a newly acquired right-handed pitcher.

Pearce went on the disabled list May 30 because of a strained right calf. He said the calf feels good, but only recently has he trusted it enough to run full speed.

"I was running tentatively and afraid to kind of hit the burst that I needed to," he said. "Now I really don't think about it. That's really the last thing to go, is trusting it in your head. I didn't want to have to go through all I went through [again]."

Pearce was hitting .291 before his injury, Cedeno .252.

Cedeno was on the seven-day disabled list because of a concussion he got July 1 trying to break up a double play against the Washington Nationals. He said the headaches associated with the concussion went away a couple of weeks after the injury.

"I feel ready to play," he said. "We've been playing real good and we got to keep going."

Cedeno started at shortstop Friday against the St. Louis Cardinals, while Pearce did not start. Manager Clint Hurdle said he would use Pearce at first base, third base and the outfield.

Grilli joins the bullpen

When Grilli's right quadriceps was torn before the 2010 season, he wasn't sure he would play again.

"[My doctor] gave indications that he would do everything he could to get me back, get me right," said Grilli, who signed Thursday with the Pirates. "The rest was up to me."

Grilli missed 2010 working his way back and signed with the Philadelphia Phillies before this season. He found out after a game with Class AAA Lehigh Valley that the Pirates had offered him a contract.

"I'm just glad to mix in and blend in with what everybody's been doing just far," he said.

Hurdle said he would lean toward putting Grilli in the back of the bullpen and moving Tony Watson to a long-relief role.

"Fastball command is critical, makes his slider so much better," said Hurdle, who managed Grilli in 2008-09 with the Colorado Rockies but had not seen him pitch since. "Slider at times was a better command pitch than his fastball."

Grilli also worked with pitching coach Ray Searage when Searage was the Florida Marlins minor league pitching coordinator and Grilli pitched for the Marlins.

Alvarez's confidence returning

Pearce said Pedro Alvarez, who he saw in Indianapolis while on his rehabilitation stint, had started hitting better in recent games.

"He looks like he has his confidence back," Pearce said. "When I first got down there his confidence was a little low, he as scuffling a little bit."

Buried treasure

Fox Sports will broadcast the Pirates game against the Cincinnati Reds Aug. 20 as its Saturday game of the week, the Pirates announced. The game was moved up to a 4:11 p.m. start.

"We are excited for the opportunity to showcase not only our exciting team, but the passion of our fans, the best ballpark in the country and our great city to a national audience," Pirates president Frank Coonelly said in a statement.

• The Pirates game Monday against the Atlanta Braves will be broadcast on ESPN's Monday Night Baseball, and Fox also selected the Aug. 13 game against the Milwaukee Brewers for its Saturday game of the week.

Bill Brink: bbrink@post-gazette.com .


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