Dodgers Team News

Dodgers Reliever Brusdar Graterol Still Searching for Consistent Secondary Pitch

When you think about Dodgers RHP Brusdar Graterol, you think about the fastball. Graterol, nicknamed the ‘Bazooka,’ throws fast. Really fast. His sinker and 4-seam fastball last season averaged just under 100 mph, and they were hard to hit. In 2022, opponents hit just .195 off of Graterol’s sinker, a pitch he threw 42 percent of the time.

However, against Graterol’s next-highest thrown pitch, the cutter, batters hit .302. A reason for that? He doesn’t have enough of a velocity differential in his pitch mix. That’s why, manager Dave Roberts said the team is trying to help him develop a true breaking pitch (per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register).

“There’s a velocity differential that we’re looking for,” Roberts said. “When he’s on the mound, everything is hard. So if you can have something to slow the hitter down and get them off the fastball and cutter, it’s just upside. With Brusdar, he’s been searching for that breaking ball and the shape of it.”

Graterol has some of the nastiest stuff in baseball — his teammate, Alex Vesia, even said so. However, he knows there’s more to being a pitcher than just trying to blow pitches by batters. That’s why, he’s been working on developing the secondary pitches (per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register).

“It’s about growing the other pitches, learning about the other pitches,” Graterol said through an interpreter. “Obviously the fastball is there. Now it’s about growing with the other pitches.”

If Graterol is able to grow those other pitches, he can truly become one of the most dominant pitchers in the game. Could he become the full-time closer, though? That’s not really something he’s thinking about yet.

“I don’t want that to be a chip on my shoulder or a motivating factor. I think there’s a lot of really good arms on this team,” Graterol said to Plunkett. “My motivation is to be really good and dominate. That doesn’t necessarily mean I have to be the guy in the ninth inning. I just have to be really good and help the team win and dominate whenever I get the ball.”

Whether he’s the closer or not, Graterol is going to make a huge impact on this team, as one of the best relievers in the highest-leverage situations.

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Noah Camras

Noah is an Editor for Dodgers Nation. He graduated from USC in 2022 with a B.A. in Journalism and minor in Sports Media Studies. He's been a Dodger fan his whole life, and his all-time favorite Dodgers are Matt Kemp and Russell Martin.

One Comment

  1. I hope Graterol can learn how to throw a great change-up. The best example of a superb change-up to go along with pure heat was Pedro Martinez.

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