PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Pirates have activated closer Jason Grilli off the disabled list and optioned catcher Tony Sanchez to Triple-A Indianapolis. Billy Williams Jersey . Grilli hasnt pitched since straining his left oblique in late April. Manager Clint Hurdle says the right-hander will make a couple of appearances in middle relief before the team determines whether to return Grilli to the back end of the bullpen. The 37-year-old is 0-1 with four saves in seven opportunities this year. Mark Melancon has seven saves in eight chances filling in for Grilli. Sanchez hit .278 with two homers and 12 RBIs in 21 games for Pittsburgh but was forced back to the minors when the team activated Russell Martin off the disabled list Thursday. Joe Pepitone Jersey . Tyutin has missed the last nine games with an ankle injury which occurred while playing for Russia at the Olympics. The top-two defenceman has four goals and 20 assists, 30 penalty minutes and a plus-6 rating in 53 games with Columbus this season. Brandon Kintzler Jersey . Teams one through twenty competing in Englands top flight are each fatally flawed. A wide-open, highly competitive and mistake-filled season has followed. Top prospect Joel Embiid had surgery on the stress fracture in his right foot Friday, and now he waits. He waits to see how far he falls in the NBA draft Thursday night. He waits to see how long it will be before he can hit the court again. He waits to see how he responds to an injury that has a history of giving NBA big men problems. The Kansas centre, who was in the running to be taken No. 1 overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers, had two screws inserted into the navicular bone in his right foot at Southern California Orthopedic Institute, according to a release distributed by agent Arn Tellem. "The surgery went very well and Im confident that after appropriate healing he will be able to return to NBA basketball," said Dr. Richard Ferkel, who performed the surgery, said in the release. "Joel tolerated the surgery without difficulty and will begin his rehabilitation in the near future." While it is the same injury that Houston Rockets centre Yao Ming suffered twice and ultimately retired because of, its impossible to say how Embiid will recover this early in the process. Bill Walton also was slowed by the injury, but that was more than 30 years ago while Zydrunas Ilgauskas was able to make a full recovery from his broken navicular bone and resume a long and productive career. It is not immediately clear how long Embiid will be out, with estimations ranging from nine months to a full season depending on how the rehabilitation process goes. The lack of clarity has turned the top of the draft into a crapshoot. Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins and Duke fforward Jabari Parker were the two names mentioned most often with Embiid at the top of the draft, with Australian point guard Dante Exum an intriguing, but largely unknown, long-shot possibility. Ryne Sandberg Jersey. A lithe and super-athletic 7-footer with nimble footwork and a soft shooting touch, Embiid has drawn comparisons to Hakeem Olajuwon and, after an impressive workout in front of NBA teams in California this month, seemed to be distancing himself from Wiggins and Parker in the eyes of many talent evaluators. But the Cavaliers passed on injured Kentucky big man Nerlens Noel with the No. 1 pick last year and are eager to get back into the playoffs after a four-year absence. So taking a chance on an injured Embiid may not be in their plans Thursday night and the Milwaukee Bucks, sitting at No. 2, could also use immediate help as they begin their first season under new ownership. That could drop Embiid to the Philadelphia 76ers, who are preaching patience in the second year of a massive tear-down and rebuild under GM Sam Hinkie. The Sixers acquired Noel, who was recovering from a torn ACL, on draft night last year and sat him out for the entire season. Could they take the same approach for a second straight season? Assuming a full recovery, an Embiid-Noel frontcourt with Michael Carter-Williams running the point could be a dynamic core to get the 76ers back to relevance in the wide open Eastern Conference. After the Sixers at No. 3, the Orlando Magic, Utah Jazz, Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers all wait in the wings. And so does Embiid. ' ' '
Manager Clint Hurdle
Manager Clint Hurdle