New right-handed Dodger reliever "Bazooka" Brusdar Graterol delivers a wicked 100 mph fastball and a nasty slider

Was acquired by the Dodgers in February of this year

Young Venezuelan right-handed Dodger reliever Brusdar Graterol, 22, made his first start in the Major Leagues against the Houston Astros on Sunday and allowed only one hit and struck out three in the first inning.

With Walker Buehler on the injured list with a finger blister, Graterol got the start, but would pitch only one inning since manager Dave Roberts wanted to utilize his bullpen, using eight relievers, and came away with an 8-1 win.

That start for Graterol was the opportunity he needed and impressed upon the Dodgers that not only can he come out of the bullpen, but might also be utilized in a starting role in the future. Or possibly a potential closer.

Graterol made his MLB debut in 2019 for the Minnesota Twins, but was acquired by the Dodgers in February of this year. The Dodgers had to give up Kenta Maeda, but it was a good gamble as Graterol looks to be the acorn that grows into the oak tree.

Graterol has two powerful weapons, a wicked 100 mph fastball and a nasty slider.

That's why he likes to be called by the nickname "Bazooka." A nickname given to him last year when with the Twins. When he throws his fastball, it's like a ballistic missile.

And his intense, youthful, upbeat energy is also a great character asset. Fans love his spirit.

"My mentality and mindset is really aggressive, but my personality and what I want is to be more toward the happy side of things," Graterol said. "That's what I bring to the field. I can incorporate both the aggressive side and having joy. I try to bring that energy toward my teammates as well."

Graterol has experience as both a starter and reliever, so it will be interesting as time goes on and more is revealed, how the Dodgers will ultimately use him.

"My mentality is starter, reliever or closer," Gaterol said. "I'm working on everything the manager says. I feel comfortable as a starter, reliever or closer. I feel great with everything."

After becoming a Dodger, Gaterol made a few mechanical changes to his delivery.

"I'm trying to use more of my legs to push and I think that's it," he said. "My slider, too. It's harder. I think that's it."

And at 6'1," 250 pounds, he is and will be a formidable opponent.


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