He’s like a long lost friend at the moment. After playing an integral role with the Dodgers in 2020, Brusdar Graterol has appeared in just 3 games this season. After a World Series run with LA last season, he arrived to spring training late and didn’t participate in a game while being slow played in his ramp-up to facing hitters.
The team never fully revealed what got the Bazooka behind schedule in the offseason. At best, Dave Roberts only offered that the reliever was unable to throw off a mound in the winter for reasons.
After finally getting healthy enough to make his season debut, Brusdar soon found himself on the injured list with forearm soreness after only 3 outings. Eventually he was activated from the IL and surprisingly optioned back to the minor leagues to work on his command and secondary pitch.
Now, ahead of Friday night’s game, Roberts provided an update on Graterol’s progress with Oklahoma City.
He’s doing OK. The velocity is good. I think the outings have been up and down. He’s trying to manage that slider — command it, shorten it, strike it. He just needs to continue to get better. We’re watching him every outing.
In 6 outings at OKC, Brusdar has allowed 5 runs over 5.2 innings pitched. Moreover, the right-hander has tossed 4 scoreless outings with all the damage coming in 2 rough appearances.
With more than 90 games still to play in 2021, the team can afford to get the Bazooka locked and loaded for a late season return and hope he can be a difference maker in October.