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Dodgers Brusdar Graterol, The Gentle Giant!

Brusdar Graterol points to his mother in an emotional outing - Image Credit: Emma Sharon Latino Sports

LOS ANGELES, CA — Today begins my countdown to the 2024 Dodger season related to Latinos in their organization. It will be done alphabetically, starting with Brusdar Graterol. The 25-year-old 6’1 “, 265 lb power reliever from Calabozo, Venezuela, has been one of the Dodger’s most reliable arms out of the bullpen and has become a fan favorite at Dodger Stadium since being acquired in 2019 from the Minnesota Twins, along with Luke Raley, and the 67th pick in the 2020 Major League Baseball draft in exchange for Kenta Maeda, Jaír Camargo, Barranquilla, Colombia, and cash considerations.

He boasts an arsenal of three deadly pitches in close late-inning games. A 99-101 mph fastball with sinking action, 89-91 mph slider, and a 95-97 mph cutter. He has been used as a set-up man and a closer by manager Dave Roberts, who said of Brusdar: “I see him as a gentle giant, and we are very lucky to have him.”

Brusdar Graterol and his mother Ysmalia living the dream – Image Credit: MLB

This past season, he was reunited with his mother, Ysmalia, in L.A., which became an emotional week for both of them. He had been trying to get his mother, who still lives in Venezuela, approved for a visa for seven years and was finally approved. She watched him pitch at Dodger Stadium that night and had the fans going crazy when she threw a strike to him with the ceremonial first pitch the next night. She was a softball star in Venezuela, and it showed.

About the reunion, Ysmalia told “I’ve always been so proud to have him as my son.” “For me, it was a joy that I don’t think I can ever explain. I was anxiously awaiting it, but I didn’t think it would happen so quickly because of all the things we’ve gone through. But it’s just a level of happiness I can’t describe, honestly.”

This year, the Dodgers will lean heavily on their young flame-thrower as they look to make their bullpen stronger. One thing is for sure: When Dodger PA announcer Todd Leitz rolls the ‘R’s in “Graterol” to the delight of 50,000 fans, they all know they are in for a treat as he launches those 100 mph missiles at the plate.

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