Dodgers Face Further Setbacks in Pitching Roster

Dodgers' Key Reliever Faces Uncertain Return Amid Discomfort.

by Nouman Rasool
Dodgers Face Further Setbacks in Pitching Roster
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The Los Angeles Dodgers have paused right-hander Brusdar Graterol's rehabilitation process due to ongoing discomfort in his arm, further complicating their pitching strategy. Dave Roberts, the team's manager, disclosed this development to reporters, underscoring the absence of any new injuries yet acknowledging the pitcher's difficulty in recovery.

Graterol, a key component of the Dodgers' bullpen, has been sidelined throughout the current season after detecting shoulder pain during spring training, leading to a diagnosis of inflammation. Initially placed on the 60-day injured list, the 25-year-old was poised for a mid-May comeback.

However, the timeline now appears uncertain as Roberts hinted at a prolonged recovery period without committing to a specific return date. This setback arrives at a critical juncture for the Dodgers, whose bullpen has displayed mixed effectiveness this season.

Currently, their ERA stands at 4.07, ranking them 19th in the Major Leagues, with a less favorable FIP of 4.52 placing them 26th. Their SIERA, however, holds at a more respectable 3.81, indicative of potential underperformance.

Graterol's Stellar Performance

Last season, Graterol was instrumental in the bullpen, delivering 67 1/3 innings with an impressive 1.20 ERA, accumulating 19 holds and seven saves. Known for his powerful arm, he has maintained a low walk rate and a high ground-ball rate, essential attributes for his role.

Since being traded from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for Kenta Maeda, Graterol has pitched a total of 173 2/3 innings with a commendable 2.69 ERA. Despite the challenges, some Dodgers relievers have started strong. Evan Phillips boasts a 0.93 ERA with six saves, Daniel Hudson has a 2.45 ERA with five holds, and Ryan Yarbrough has pitched 23 innings with a 3.52 ERA.

However, the depth issues are apparent, with other relievers struggling significantly, evidenced by three pitchers with ERAs exceeding 5.59. With 15 relievers already utilized this season, matching the highest in the league with the Mets and Astros, the Dodgers are feeling the strain.

The stability Graterol could bring to the bullpen is sorely missed, and with his return uncertain, the team may need to explore trades to bolster their bullpen strength, a common strategy among contenders but now with increased urgency due to Graterol's prolonged absence.

This approach reflects the Dodgers' proactive stance in maintaining a competitive edge, particularly in a season already fraught with challenges.