When the Los Angeles Dodgers announced their 26-man Opening Day roster, it came without any surprises. The only unusual element of the group was a bullpen that featured three starting pitchers in Tony Gonsolin, Jimmy Nelson and David Price.
Part of why the club went this route is because Brusdar Graterol and Joe Kelly each began the year on the 10-day injured list. Kelly was sidelined due to right shoulder inflammation.
Graterol, too, is on the 10-day IL after mistakenly being designated as being on the 60-day IL. Unlike Kelly, there wasn’t much of an explanation as to why Graterol fell behind in Spring Training.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts declined to provide specifics beyond noting the right-hander couldn’t carry out any semblance of a throwing program during the offseason.
After weeks of uncertainty, there finally appears to be some clarity with Graterol’s situation. According to Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times, the 22-year-old’s absence is related to a previous coronavirus (COVID-19) infection:
Instead, his move to the injured list is “related to COVID from the past,” according to another source, and the Dodgers are using additional time to build up his arm strength after he reported to spring training behind schedule.
It’s unclear when Graterol contracted the virus, but he reported to camp on time, so one could assume he tested positive over the winter.
While Graterol was unable to appear in a Spring Training game, Roberts has maintained he is farther ahead of Kelly. “They’re both at the alt site, they’re both progressing well, throwing bullpens,” Roberts recently said.
“I don’t know if either of them are throwing to hitters. I see Brusdar ahead of Joe as far as return to play, but I don’t have a timeline.
“I don’t know Brusdar’s timetable. I do know that we’re still building him up, he wasn’t ready to go physically once we got to camp. Again, I don’t really know how long it’s going to take to get him back.”
Gonsolin placed on 10-day IL; Santana recalled
A third Dodgers pitcher has since joined Graterol and Kelly on the 10-day injured list, as Gonsolin will miss some time due to right shoulder inflammation.
L.A. recalled Dennis Santana prior to their series finale against the Colorado Rockies
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