The Los Angeles Dodgers activated Brusdar Graterol off the 10-day injured list and optioned Alex Vesia prior to Sunday’s game against the San Diego Padres. Additionally, Gavin Lux was placed on the IL (retroactive to April 16) because of right wrist soreness, and Sheldon Neuse was recalled.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had previously indicated Graterol was a candidate to be reinstated at some point during the weekend series and noted the decision would be based on bullpen usage. L.A. then needed six relief pitchers during the 12-inning game on Friday, though that didn’t immediately prompt Graterol’s return.
The Dodgers instead elected to recall Vesia and option Matt Beaty. Vesia did not appear in Saturday’s win.
Graterol is active for the first time this season. The team never specified the reason for his IL stint, which reportedly was related to the coronavirus (COVID-19). That notion was supported by the Dodgers outrighting Ashton Goudeau in order to clear a spot on their 40-man roster. Goudeau was subsequently claimed off waivers by the Colorado Rockies.
Graterol arrived at Spring Training behind other pitchers because of what Roberts only referred to as physical limitations preventing offseason throwing. Graterol faced batters at Dodger Stadium when he was with the team for their World Series ring ceremony and checked off the final box this week by pitching twice in three days.
As the Dodgers go for a sweep of the Padres, Roberts will have no hesitation calling on Graterol for his 2021 debut if necessary. “He’s a guy that I trust. He’s pitched in big spots already in his short career. So whenever it makes sense to put him in there, I’ve got no problem.”
Of course, one of Graterol’s appearances in a leverage situation came during last year’s National League Division Series. His first pitch to Fernando Tatis Jr. was sent to straightaway center field and resulted in Cody Bellinger making a memorable catch to take a home run away.
Lux having trouble with bat
Although Lux appeared as a pinch-runner on Thursday and there was reported improvement with his right wrist, swinging a bat remained an issue and prompted the IL decision.
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