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Pirates closer Jason Grilli: 'Strong likely case' for return Saturday vs. Nationals

Jason Grilli got his first All-Star nod last year. (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) Jason Grilli made his first All-Star team last year. (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Pirates closer Jason Grilli said there's a "strong likely case" for his return Saturday when the team plays at home vs. the Nationals, according to a report on Wednesday from Bill Brink of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 

The 37-year-old, who got his first All-Star nod last year, has been on the disabled list since April 21 with a left oblique strain. Since joining the Pirates in 2011, he's recorded a 2.83 ERA with 40 saves in 149 1/3 innings. This season has been a slightly different story, as he has gone 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA with four saves and seven strikeouts.

He said he felt good after recently throwing another 20-pitch simulated game and didn't feel the need for a rehab assignment, according to Brink's report. 

Mark Melancon has stepped up in Grilli's place since the injury  but will likely be moved to a setup role sometime in the next week. 

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