Max Muncy and Brusdar Graterol will be placed on the paternity list before the Dodgers’ series against the Pirates in Pittsburgh, per multiple reports, and Michael Busch is set to make his major league debut, coming up from Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times was the first to report the Muncy and Busch news, which was confirmed by Juan Toribio at MLB.com. Fabian Ardaya at The Athletic on Sunday first reported Graterol would land on the paternity list, which was confirmed by Jack Harris of the LA Times.
This makes four Dodgers on the paternity list in the last week. Mookie Betts and his wife Brianna welcomed a son, Kaj Lynn Betts, on April 18. Betts was activated on Thursday in Chicago after missing two games.
Evan Phillips was placed on the paternity list on Thursday. Manager Dave Roberts told reporters at Wrigley Field on Sunday, “Evan will be back. Our expectation is Tuesday in Pittsburgh,” per SportsNet LA. Presumably, Phillips’ activation would be the corresponding roster move to replace Graterol in the bullpen.
Muncy and his wife Kellie announced in November that they were expecting their second child, a son. Graterol and his wife Alison in February announced they were expecting a baby girl.
Busch is off to a strong start in Triple-A, reaching base in all 21 games while hitting .337/.461/.506 with a 147 wRC+ with eight doubles, two home runs for Oklahoma City, third in the Pacific League in walks (18) with a below-average strikeout rate (18.6 percent).
Busch was named to preseason top-100 prospect lists by Baseball America, MLB Pipeline, Baseball Prospectus, The Athletic, and FanGraphs, topping out at the latter with a No. 46 ranking.
More relevant to his current duties with Muncy out for between one and three days, Busch has played nine of his last 11 games at third base, his first time ever at the position either professionally or in college at North Carolina. Busch this season also started nine games at second base and three games at first base.
The Dodgers are facing all right-handed starting pitchers in Pittsburgh, with Johan Oviedo, Roansy Contreras, and Mitch Keller on the mound in the series, which should create opportunities for the left-handed-batting Busch. Since the start of 2021, Busch has hit .287/.387/.530 against right-handed pitchers, and .249/.367/.435 against southpaws.