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Dodgers activate Brusdar Graterol after missing 35 games with shoulder inflammation

Ryan Pepiot optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City

San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Dodgers on Monday activated Brusdar Graterol off the injured list after the right-hander missed six weeks with right shoulder inflammation.

After a bumpy 2021 that saw extended time in the minors, Graterol this season has resumed his role as a trusted late-inning reliever, posting a 3.35 ERA, 2.61 xERA, and 3.32 FIP in his 37 games, with 35 strikeouts and nine unintentional walks in 40⅓ innings.

Graterol, on average, has pitched in the fourth-highest-leverage situations in the Dodgers bullpen this year, trailing only Daniel Hudson, Craig Kimbrel, and Evan Phillips. Graterol has three saves this season, ranking third on the team.

He was placed on the injured list on July 14, just before the All-Star break, and last pitched on July 10. He missed a total of 35 games while sidelined.

Graterol pitched four games on a minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City, tossing 4⅔ scoreless innings with four strikeouts, allowing only a single and a walk. He last pitched on Friday in Sugar Land, throwing 14 pitches. The original plan was for Graterol to pitch on back-to-back days, but after a scoreless inning on Wednesday, Oklahoma City was rained out on Thursday.

To make room for Graterol, the Dodgers optioned Ryan Pepiot to Triple-A after Sunday’s start, returning to a five-pitcher starting rotation and eight relievers in the bullpen.

Pepiot’s latest major league stint was his longest, making three starts while filling in for an injured Clayton Kershaw. Pepiot’s changeup has been as good as advertised, holding batters to just two hits in 22 at-bats (.091) that ended on that pitch.

But he lacked command, walking 22 batters in 31⅓ innings. Pepiot’s 16.1-percent walk rate is fifth-worst among the 408 major league pitchers with at least 30 innings. In seven starts with the Dodgers, Pepiot has a 4.02 ERA and 36 strikeouts. He allowed six home runs, including five in his last three starts.

Despite the troubles, Pepiot had his best start to date on Sunday, striking out seven in six innings, both highs for him in the majors. He walked only two batters as well, heading back to the minors on a positive note.