Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has said numerous times before and during spring training that the Dodgers don’t plan to designate a specific closer, but rather will use a number of pitchers in high-leverage relief roles.
Among the pitchers likely to see some time saving games is Brusdar Graterol, who saved four games last season and another during the 2020 postseason.
Mike DiGiovanna at the Los Angeles Times profiled Graterol, whom Alex Vesia said has “the best stuff on the planet.”
Vesia also told DiGiovanna, “He’s gonna be a huge part of our bullpen, whether it’s in the seventh or eighth or ninth inning.”
In addition to the fastball and cutter, Graterol has been working on expanding his pitch repertoire, including reintroducing a revamped version of his slider this year.
“I throw fastballs really hard. With the slider, I don’t always get the rotation I’m looking for because I’m so focused on throwing the fastball as hard as I can,” Graterol told Bill Plunkett at the Orange County Register. “So the slider rotation isn’t quite as good or where I want it to be right now.”
Andy Pages came to Dodgers camp much lighter this year, after getting added to the 40-man roster in November. Pages was among 25 players in baseball who stood out to scouts this spring, per Kyle Glaser at Baseball America.
“He looks like a middle infielder almost. I always thought he was a pretty good mover, even when he was on the heavier side, but he’s moving really well right now,” a scout told Glaser. “I think at some point, he’ll get the call. If he was with another org, I think he’d have a chance to even crack the opening day roster.”
Pages was optioned to the minors on March 13, but before that played in 13 of 17 Cactus League games, and reached base in 12 of his 25 trips to the plate.
In case you missed the end of Monday night’s game against the Rockies, a pair of unheralded pitchers each hit triple digits in their first Cactus League games.
Jake Pilarski struck out all three batters he faced in the seventh inning, averaging 99.2 mph on his four-seam fastball. He signed with the Dodgers in December after two years in the independent Frontier League, where he walked 60 batters and threw 15 wild pitches in 95⅓ innings, but also struck out 94 batters.
Juan Morillo has been with the Dodgers since 2016 out of Venezuela, but he last pitched in 2021, throwing only 1⅔ innings. Dave Roberts mentioned them both in a postgame interview on SportsNet LA.
"Dodgers fans we got a lot of good arms on the come." Dave Roberts sees a bright future with pitching on @SportsNetLA. pic.twitter.com/AtFC5Neo6D— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) March 21, 2023
Fox Sports is ranking every MLB organization by talent of players 26 and under. The Dodgers checked in at number seven, which is a good reminder that Julio Urías is entering his eighth major league season but is still just 26 years old.
I have a new podcast about the Dodgers, called the Three-Inning Save, with co-host Jacob Burch and questions from Craig Minami. If you were subscribed to the True Blue LA podcast, episodes of the Three-Inning Save will show up in the same feed. Here’s episode one, on the Dodgers closing in on the opening day roster.