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Dodgers: Roberts Impressed by Brusdar Graterol’s Nasty Fastball

“What a find.”



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.

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.

Enter to Win a Gavin Lux Signed Ball!

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.

Pitching Profile: Brusdar Graterol

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

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  1. Gatorade could be a real x-factor in the postseason. He needs to work on offspeed pitches in the minors but could come up big later this season. Boston was stupid to view him as a starter. This guy has closer written all over him. Starters need a variety of pitches. Closers need two, a killer fastball (which Gatorade already has), and one effective offspeed pitch to complement it. His slider needs work but could be ready by the postseason. If he could come up with a Gagne change up, he could be elite.

  2. Clint, you might want to change your bio, you may still be here, but Verdugo no longer is! Anyway, it would be another great irony if Graterol turns out to be the steal of the Betts deal. I’m sure Boston will be happy if Verdugo and Downs turn out to be effective major leaguers, but they may regret passing on someone who could be a lock down closer

    • I can’t forget Verdugo yet!!! But also, good call and great comment. I think Boston very much will live to regret missing out on Brusdar and LA will looooove this kid.

    • Bruiser has diamond in rough potential. Freidman could come out of this looking like a genius if this guy turns out to be a Max Muncy of the bullpen. It’s way to early to tell, but the potential is there.

  3. This is the stuff we need In this weak bullpen just put him in there don’t jerk him around like you do other players

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