8/20/2013 9:26 P.M. ET
Grilli getting closer; Wandy still targeting sim game
By Tom Singer / MLB.com
SAN DIEGO -- Jason Grilli incurred a forearm injury seven weeks after Wandy Rodriguez. It isn't like they're racing on the comeback track, but if they were, the reliever would have just closed fast on the rail to take the lead.
While Grilli was set to begin throwing off the slope of the mound before the Bucs depart San Diego, Rodriguez and club officials are trying to deal with the new discomfort the lefty reported after a 40-pitch bullpen session here Monday.
"It's a new development," manager Clint Hurdle said. "He didn't talk about feeling it after his simulated game at home. This was the first he'd mentioned it. He's not sure what he's feeling right now."
Plans still call for Rodriguez to go ahead and follow through on pitching a simulated game Thursday in San Francisco and see if it is more encouraging. With August winding down, there is precious little season left for a starting pitcher who has not seen game action since June 3.
Conversely, the comeback seems full top-speed ahead for Grilli who, as a reliever, only has to build up his arm strength for 15-20 pitches. He again played flat-ground catch on Monday and was set to do it off the slope of the mound Tuesday -- not full-fledged mound work, just off the side "to give him a gradual way of getting back to pushing off forward," Hurdle explained.
"[Grilli] is doing really well. Moving forward at a very good fashion," Hurdle said.
Marte scratched from lineup with bruised hand
SAN DIEGO -- After Starling Marte sat out Monday night's game with a new contusion to his right hand, the Pirates hoped to get their leadoff hitter back for Tuesday night's rematch with the Padres.
Manager Clint Hurdle went so far as including Marte in his original starting lineup. But that had to be changed after the left fielder tested the hand in early workouts at Petco Park, and the hand didn't pass.
"Still sore," a dejected Marte said, holding up his right ring and little fingers. "Tried throwing and gripping a bat. Not good. Maybe later in the game, off the bench."
Jose Tabata replaced Marte, both in left field and atop the order.
This is not a recurrence of the bruise -- the result of being hit by a pitch -- that caused Marte to miss two starts a week ago. This resulted from having his hand stepped on by Arizona's Martin Prado as he tried to steal third base in the eighth inning of Sunday's game at PNC Park.
First number, last word
2.53: Francisco Liriano's ERA following his seven shutout innings in Monday night's series opener with the Padres. It is the lowest among the seven Major League pitchers with 14-or-more wins.
"I know he's looking forward to getting the ball and going out there. He's not pleased with the way things have finished the last two times out." -- Hurdle on A.J. Burnett, who started Tuesday night against the Padres after having squandered leads of 3-1 to the Rockies and 4-0 to the Cardinals in his last two outings.
• Right-hander James McDonald's Rookie League rehab outing Monday (two hits, two runs and a walk without being able to finish the first inning) drew a terse reaction from manager Clint Hurdle, who said "it was not a pain situation. It's him continuing to work on things."
• Outfielder Travis Snider (left big toe) drew positive reviews for his first rehab game with Double-A Altoona, with Hurdle noting, "Everything went well. He cut off a ball down the line and held the runner at first, went first to third on a hit, had a single and drove a couple of other balls to the deeper part of the outfield."
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.