The Dodgers are going to have some help in the bullpen towards the end of the season. They’ll likely be getting back Corey Knebel before the playoffs, and he should be a big help on his own as they try to repeat as champions.
But fans also forget that Brusdar Graterol is still waiting for his turn. As dominant as he was in the Dodgers bullpen last October, Graterol has not been able to find nearly the same success. Two separate trips to the injured list have contributed to that.
Graterol was eventually optioned back to Triple-A earlier this month when he did come off of the IL. Now playing with the OKC Dodgers, he continues to struggle. He’s given up 7 earned runs across 9.1 innings of work.
Dave Roberts talked on Friday about the plan for Brusdar and what they need to see out of him before a promotion.
He’s not a finished product. Last year he came in and impacted our ballclub in a lot of ways. As far as pitch development and working on the slider versus left, keeping the sinker, the two-seamer down at the bottom of the zone to go along with the slider. And to get swing and miss/soft contact, to tighten that up, execute that consistently. Those are the things we want from Brusdar. There’s some finishing school we see in him. Once he does get back here we want him to stick.
The Dodgers have long said that Brusdar needs to develop more swing-and-miss stuff to take his big league career to the next level. In 2020, he struck out just 5 batters per 9 innings of work. That in spite of the fact that he regularly pumps out triple-digit fastballs.
At some point, you have to believe that Graterol will be back up with the Dodgers. It’s tough to leave an arm that powerful just waiting in the wings, especially come playoff time. If he can straighten out his time in the minor leagues, he should be on his way soon.