AdministratorJanuary 25, 2021 at 2:15 pm
Recently the Dodgers have been rumored to be interested in quite a few late-inning relievers. Ultimately they signed none but the interest was there. But is it possible Brusdar Graterol is ready to elevate into that tier pitcher?
Brrusdar is only 22 but he’s got quite a few Dodgers fans excited about his potential, and I mean what’s not to like. He can hit 100 MPH on the gun with ease, and he’s so smooth that when his chain breaks he can catch before it hits the ground. He pitches with passion and intensity and we love that around here. Who can forget his celebration and kiss blowing to Machado after Bellinger robbed Tatis Jr. He’s a lot of fun to watch but can he take the leap to late innings pitcher?
Last year Graterol pitched 23 innings and had an Era of 3.09 not bad for a 21-year-old. Where things are a bit concerning is that he only struck out 13 batters in those 23 innings. Pretty inexcusable for a pitcher with his nasty stuff. He’s going to have to get a better feel with his slider and locate the sinker a bit better. He definitely has the tools, during the off-season I’m sure the Dodgers will help him work more on the slider. Could he use his 4 seam fastball more and get it up in the zone? I think that could help him some.
Let’s talk about what Graterol was good at, and that limiting barrels and hard-hit rate. He was in the top 4% of the league in missing barrels, that will definitely work. He also got his walk percentage down. His sinker is fast and heavy which lead to a lot of weak groundballs. He only threw 14 Four-seam fastballs but it resulted in a lot of swings and misses, his main issue is missing bats. But because he’s so good already at important things this should lead him to at least get opportunities in late-game situations.
Last year in 12 innings with Will Smith he gave up 6 earned runs, but what I found interesting was when pitching to Smith the hitters batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage were all lower than pitching to Austin Barnes. However, in 10 innings with Barnes, Graterol only gave up 2 earned runs. That tells me Barnes was able to help Brusdar navigate out of trouble better and called the right pitches at the right time.
How has Brusdar faired in the late innings in his limited time so far? Well, in 8 games pitched in the 7th inning he has an Era of 0.00 while hitters are hitting .174 off him with a slugging percentage of .174 as well. In 11 games in the 8th inning, his Era is 1.93 and batters are hitting .169 off him with a slugging percentage of .200 so a little bit of a jump. In 4 games pitching the 9th inning, he’s got an Era of 5.40 where batters are hitting .467 and have a slugging percentage of .769. As you can see, a very limited sample size but quite the big jump as well. He’s only 22 so he still has time to improve to be that Closer that so many want him to be.
It’s clear the upside and potential are there. Is he ready to close? No, not quite but he’s clearly ready for the 7th and 8th inning which is still good, cause the Dodgers need all the late inning relievers they can get. If you can count on Brusdar in the 7th or 8th that leaves the 9th for Jansen, Knebel, and Treinen. What do you guys think? Is Brusdar ready to close in your eyes?
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