“He’s going to be a big boost,” Roberts said. “Obviously … as we laid out this season and the bullpen he’s a big part of it. To get him back healthy, using him any way we feel – to get lefties out, get righties out, to do up-and-down, to pitch leverage – it’s going to be a big addition.”
With the Dodgers having already locked up a postseason spot — practically, if not literally — they will spend the last seven weeks of the season trying to figure out their postseason roster, and the bullpen will be a big part of those decisions.
Graterol had been outstanding in the five weeks leading up to his shoulder injury, allowing just two runs in 16 innings to lower his season ERA from 4.81 to 3.35. The question with his return will be whether he can pick up where he left off. The June/July version of Graterol would be a huge asset to the Dodgers bullpen in October; the version that posted a 4.81 ERA through June 5, not so much.
One interesting potential hiccup in Graterol’s return is Mother Nature. Graterol pitched a scoreless inning with Triple-A Oklahoma City on Wednesday night, and the plan had been for him to pitch again last night, with “back-to-back” the last box he needed to check off in his rehab. But OKC was rained out last night and will play a doubleheader today to make it up. At this moment, it’s unclear how (or if) that will affect Graterol’s return.
But at some point, probably in the next day or two, the Dodgers will get Graterol back, the first of several highly anticipated IL returns over the next few weeks that will hopefully include Yency Almonte, Blake Treinen, and Clayton Kershaw.