Dodgers: Players Convinced Brusdar Graterol Could Be A Dominant Closer
The Dodgers do have the makings of a really good bullpen this year. Even with the losses of Kenley Jansen and Joe Kelly in free agency, the potential from guys in there should be enough to scare rival teams. The number of starters that could be mixed into the bullpen alone makes them dangerous.
But one guy that could really take his career to the next level this year is Brusdar Graterol. The flame-throwing 23-year-old was sent down to Triple-A last season to work on some things, adding a cutter into the mix. Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts had said he needed to figure some things out before making a return.
But the potential is certainly there, as you can imagine for a guy that averages 100 mph on his fastball. Blake Treinen will likely close games for the Dodgers this season, even if Doc has yet to admit that. But in speaking with The OC Register’s Bill Plunkett, Treinen likes the potential of Brusdar.
“Yes, he does. I just think he’ll be ready good. It’s whatever he ends up putting into it, the ability to refine his craft because he’ll be extremely good for us right now and he’ll have a good year with what he has. But if he’s able to develop … one more pitch, one of two or three different pitches it will be incredible. You’ll see his swing-and-miss go through the roof.”
Graterol induced just a 13.9 whiff percentage on his fastball/sinker last season. And while he did get that up to 30 percent with his slider, he still does not have the pitch mix to get the strikeouts he needs. The Dodgers reliever struck out just 7.3 batters per 9 innings in 2021, up slightly from 2020.
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But he does need to mix things up. Throwing the fastball into triple-digits every time out there will only get you so far, and the Dodgers are going to need him to change it up at some point. But the good news? He’s only playing in his 4th season in the big leagues.
Brusdar could have a very long and successful career closing out games.
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