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Brusdar Graterol is back from the injured list as Dodgers postseason pitching begins to take shape

Justin Bruihl was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers activated reliever Brusdar Graterol from the injured list on Thursday after missing over three weeks with right elbow inflammation, potentially the first of a wave of returning pitchers that could pitch for the team in October.

Graterol was been sidelined all month, having last pitched on August 28. That came only four appearances after also missing nearly six weeks on the injured list with right shoulder inflammation.

While on the mound this season, Graterol has been effective, with a 3.02 ERA, 2.52 xERA, and 3.11 FIP, with 39 strikeouts and 10 walks in 44⅔ innings. His 62.9-percent ground ball rate is tops on the staff. Eleven of his 41 games have been multi-inning appearances, most on the team.

But Graterol has only pitched in four games since the week before the All-Star break.

Justin Bruihl was optioned to make room for Graterol, after pitching in four of the last five days. Among those appearances was Sunday in San Francisco, when the left-hander got the final out of the game for his first career save. Bruihl has a 3.80 ERA in 24 games this season, with 13 strikeouts and six walks in 23⅔ innings.

Graterol’s activation still leaves five pitchers on the injured list with at least a chance to return this season. Tony Gonsolin stands apart from the group as the only starting pitcher, though with less than three weeks until the postseason starts it’s clear that he will be used in a shorter, more limited role, if at all.

Gonsolin is expected to pitch multiple innings in a simulated game at Dodger Stadium on Thursday, and if all goes well could pitch in a rehab game in Triple-A early next week.

David Price will also pitch an inning in that simulated game on Thursday, trying to return from left wrist inflammation. He last pitched on August 29.

Yency Almonte, out since August 9 with right elbow tightness, started a rehab assignment Tuesday with Triple-A Oklahoma City, so far pitching a scoreless inning with one strikeout. He’s expected to pitch again for Oklahoma City twice more this week, with a potential return to the Dodgers next week.

Blake Treinen, whose first day eligible to be activated from the injured list was Thursday, has still not fully recovered from his shoulder tightness that has sidelined him for two weeks. Treinen has pitched in five major league games this season, including two since April.

Victor González, who has yet to pitch this season and had arthroscopic elbow surgery in April, is back on the rehab beam after getting shut down for a week. González pitched a scoreless inning on Tuesday, working around a pair of singles.