Former Knights RHP Grilli in Playoffs with Jays…
On Tuesday, October 4th, the Toronto Blue Jays played host to the Baltimore Orioles in the 2016 American Wild Card game from the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Both American League East teams battled 19 times over the course of the 2016 season, with Toronto winning 10 of the 19 contests.
On Tuesday — in a game that went into extra innings — the Blue Jays were victorious when Edwin Encarnacion launched a game-winning, walk-off, three-run home run off Ubaldo Jimenez (0-1) in the bottom of the 11th inning. The 5-2 victory propelled the Jays into the ALDS. They will now play the American League West Division winning Texas Rangers beginning on Thursday, October 6.
One player on Toronto’s roster who has ties to the Charlotte Knights is RHP Jason Grilli. The 39-year-old hurler, who started 25 games for the Knights in 2004, tossed a scoreless eighth inning on Tuesday for the Jays en route to their three-run win.
Grilli, who turns 40 next month, was originally drafted by the New York Yankees in the 24th round of the 1994 draft out of high school. Three years later, after attending Seton Hall University, Grilli was drafted again. This time, the Michigan native, was a first-round selection (fourth overall) by the San Francisco Giants.
Later in his career, on December 15, 2003, Grilli was selected by the Chicago White Sox from the Florida Marlins in the Rule 5 Draft.
That upcoming season (2004), he spent the majority of the year in Fort Mill, SC with the Knights and went 9-9 with a 4.83 ERA in 25 starts (152.2 IP). Grilli tossed two complete games and a shutout that season. He led the team in innings pitched and fanned 101 batters — finishing second on the team in that category.
A 14-year major league veteran, Jason Grilli is the son of Steve Grilli, a former major league pitcher who spent parts of three seasons with the Detroit Tigers (1975-77) and later appeared in one game with the Blue Jays (1979).
For his career, Jason Grilli has appeared in 549 major league games and owns a 32-42 record with 78 saves and a 4.09 ERA (644.2 IP). He saved a career-high 33 games for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2013.