The Pittsburgh Pirates optioned pitcher Jeff Locke to double-A Altoona… (Justin K. Aller / Getty Images )
Left-hander Jeff Locke was optioned by the Pittsburgh Pirates to double-A Altoona (Pa.) on Wednesday.
Locke (9-5) has one victory in eight starts and a 6.18 earned-run average since the All-Star break. Opponents are batting .340 against him during the span.
The Pirates also optioned rookie catcher Tony Sanchez to Altoona. The moves were made to make room on the 25-man roster for outfielder Marlon Byrd and catcher John Buck, acquired Tuesday in a trade with the New York Mets.
Pirates' Jason Grilli is close to returning
Pirates All-Star closer Jason Grilli pitched a simulated game and is nearing a return from a strained right forearm.
Grilli threw 25 pitches to a handful of teammates and said he is encouraged by the results. The 36-year-old right-hander has been on the disabled list since injuring his arm in the Pirates' 6-5 victory over Washington on July 22.
Barring a setback, Manager Clint Hurdle expects Grilli to make a rehab appearance for double-A Altoona on Saturday.
Grilli was second in the National League with 30 saves at the time of the injury.
Indians' Ryan Raburn is put on disabled list
Outfielder Ryan Raburn was put on the 15-day disabled list by the Cleveland Indians because of a strained left Achilles' tendon. The move is retroactive to Aug. 19.
Raburn had sat out 10 of the previous 11 games because of soreness in his left foot. He is hitting .270 with 15 home runs and 41 runs batted in.
Mets pitchers undergo surgery
Mets pitchers Jenrry Mejia and Jeremy Hefner underwent elbow surgery.
Mejia had a bone spur removed and hopes to be ready for the start of next season. Hefner had elbow ligament-replacement surgery and probably will be sidelined at least a year.
Mets ace Matt Harvey, also on the disabled list, is hoping to avoid elbow surgery. He was diagnosed with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament but tweeted Tuesday that he'll be back on the mound in April.
Manager Terry Collins said Harvey was encouraged after talking to other pitchers who had a similar injury and didn't require surgery, including Roy Halladay. The Mets said no decision will be made until Harvey is reexamined in a few weeks after the swelling subsides.