Let’s face it, two months ago you likely didn’t know who or what a Brusdar Graterol was. Now the new Dodgers’ reliever is making waves amongst fans with his incredible 99mph fastball. However, for manager Dave Roberts, he’s making an impression.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) March 5, 2020
Pitching in just his second game this spring on Wednesday night, the 21-year-old Venezuelan right-hander nicknamed Buffalo recorded 2 strikeouts while throwing an “easy 98” mile-per-hour fastball that Roberts was all smiles about.
“It’s an easy — if you can say an easy — 98. There’s some late movement. The slider he can strike and shortens it when he needs to. What a find… and really a great young man.”
What. A. Find…
Of course, Graterol wasn’t originally going to be a Dodger. He was heading to Boston from the Minnesota Twins as part of a greater three-team trade that brought Mookie Betts and David Price to LA. But the Red Sox got cold feet about the pitcher. Something in his medicals didn’t check out for first-year GM Chaim Bloom and the trade was put into limbo.
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Now the big man is with the Dodgers and he couldn’t be happier.
“I’m very excited, obviously, to be on this team, to be with a team that gets to the postseason on a regular basis,” Graterol said through an interpreter. “The off-season was something I can’t control, and now it’s just time for me to focus on doing whatever I can to help out this team.” – Jake Rill, MLB.com
Moreover, the Dodger brass seems excited for their new flamethrower. In fact, President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman seemed giddy with possibilities.
“The consistency of his secondary stuff is behind his 80 [grade] fastball. So we can utilize that potentially sooner in the bullpen and we’ll continue to try to develop him while he’s potentially helping us at the major-league level. And there’s a scenario where he doesn’t make our team. Then maybe we’ll work on some longer outings and work on some pitch design stuff. So we’ll see as we get into it.” – Friedman to Bill Plunkett, OC Register.
While his role with the club isn’t exactly set in stone yet, it seems that Roberts and Friedman are willing to let him pitch his way to an opening day roster spot. With 100mph potential, it sounds like a good problem to have.