Brusdar Graterol is expected to be a key part of the Los Angeles Dodgers' bullpen in 2023. Graterol is known for his impressive velocity, however, he's been throwing a cutter along with his fastball since 2021. The Dodgers' reliever recently revealed that Kenley Jansen, who's now with the Boston Red Sox, and Walker Buehler helped to teach him the pitch, per Bill Plunkett of the The Orange County Register.
“Kenley (Jansen) was the one that originally helped me throw the pitch, taught me the pitch,” Graterol said via an interpreter. “He was more teaching me where to throw it, not so much the grip. (Walker) Buehler was the one who taught me the grip. Kenley was the one who taught me where to locate it.”
Developing a key secondary pitch is crucial for big league pitchers. They can't simply rely on a fastball regardless of how fast they may throw it. Graterol's cutter is his secret weapon.
Graterol was expected to compete for the closer role in 2023. Dave Roberts, however, is willing to utilize a closer-by-committee strategy to open the season. The Dodgers' bullpen features a number of capable closing options. Evan Phillips was the favorite to win the job, but it appears as if Phillips, Graterol, and others will all receive save opportunities depending on the situation.
Regardless of his role, Brusdar Graterol will play a pivotal role for the Dodgers assuming he's able to stay healthy. The right-hander has unfortunately dealt with injury trouble over the past few years, so LA will certainly monitor his health closely throughout the 2023 campaign. The sky's the limit for him if he can stay on the mound.