Brusdar Graterol has arguably been the most underrated relief pitcher in all of baseball this season.
Entering the 2023 season with a career fWAR of 1.6, Graterol has accumulated a 1.4 WAR as a part of a Dodgers bullpen that leads baseball in bullpen fWAR this season. He has dominated hitters in a career high 67⅓ innings, posting a minuscule 1.20 ERA — leading all relievers in that category — 0.965 WHIP, while also recording seven saves.
Graterol’s strikeout rates are at a low point, as his K/9 is over a full strikeout down from last season, but he has succeeded at limiting free passes, as his BB/9 is just 1.60, the best mark he has had in a full season and the lowest its been since the shortened 2020 season.
What separates Graterol from the rest of the bullpen is his 25-inning scoreless streak, as he has not allowed a run since July 24, and has given up just four runs in his last 38⅓ innings, netting a 0.70 ERA in that span. With the season he had, it’s puzzling how the 25-year-old flamethrower was not selected to this season’s All Star Game.
Rustin Dodd and Stephen J Nesbitt of The Athletic listed their most improved player from every team this season, naming Graterol as the most improved Dodger.
Jason Heyward has revived his career this season with the Dodgers after prematurely being released from the Chicago Cubs in the middle of the regular season last year, but what was the reason for him signing with Los Angeles?
Heyward sat down with teammate Mookie Betts to discuss the reason for signing with the Dodgers in the latest episode of the podcast On Base with Mookie Betts:
“Outside looking in as a baseball player— a competitor— I already knew what it was. I expect to win, and that attitude starts from the top; roster construction, the amount of money and time put into bringing personnel in— someone like myself— as an opportunity to get the best out of them.”
With one game left to cap off the 2023 regular season, Freddie Freeman stands just one home run and one double shy of reaching the illusive 30/60 club.
Freeman isn’t too concerned about the numbers, explaining that paying attention to just the numbers rather than focusing on winning games isn’t the way he plays, per Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times:
“If I start feeling good at the plate and start having good swings, that will potentially result in those. But if you start thinking about individual things, you’re playing for the wrong reason.”