The hard-throwing Minnesota Twins prospect will reportedly join the team in Boston on Tuesday night to help bolster the bullpen down the stretch.
The Minnesota Twins bullpen is about to get major reinforcements. After weeks of speculation regarding the future of top pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol, it appears that the Twins are ready to take the plunge and call him up to join the team on Tuesday in Boston.
Graterol’s season has been a whirlwind that started with a dominating performance at Double-A Pensacola, going 5-0 with a 1.89 ERA in nine starts. After a shoulder injury put him on the shelf, the Twins opted to use Graterol in shorter starts and relief upon his return. The result has been positive as the 21-year old has allowed three earned runs in 13 1/3 innings while holding opposing hitters to a .143 average.
Now in the thick of a pennant race, the Twins are willing to see if Graterol can help. One of the most enticing things about Graterol is his velocity which routinely reaches over 100 miles per hour and has been clocked as high as 103.8 MPH during an outing in Pensacola last month. That fastball along with a nasty slider has kept hitters guessing and gave Graterol a scoreless streak that was snapped with a three-run homer allowed in his outing on August 27.
His overall performance was something that put him on the Twins radar as an option down the stretch and according to comments made by General Manager Thad Levine to the Minneapolis Star Tribune last month, they believe he can make a big impact.
"“In my entire career, I’ve never seen a pitcher other than [Yankees All-Star closer] Aroldis Chapman sit above 100 MPH for an entire inning,” Levine said. “I think he threw one fastball that was timed at 99, and it was almost disappointing.”"
With the call-up of Graterol, the Twins are hoping he can do the same for a long playoff run that Francisco Rodriguez did for the World Series champion Los Angeles Angels in 2002 and David Price did for the pennant-winning Tampa Bay Rays in 2008.
While there will be plenty of new faces joining the Twins upon completion of Triple-A Rochester’s season, Graterol could be the piece that gives Minnesota the extra boost down the stretch.