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Dodgers relievers Brusdar Graterol, Blake Treinen nearing returns

LOS ANGELES ― The Dodgers put two of their best relievers to work early Tuesday.

Long before the first pitch was thrown against the Minnesota Twins, Brusdar Graterol was hurling triple-digit fastballs from the mound. Blake Treinen was pumping them over at 98 mph.

The two right-handers certainly looked sharp in the eyes of the radar gun, and to their teammates who swung and missed on occasion. Their next chance to show they’re ready is on Friday, when Treinen and Graterol will be assigned to Triple-A Oklahoma City to begin their long-awaited rehabilitation assignments.

“I feel great,” Graterol said. “I feel like I’m back again.”

Not quite.

Graterol, who hasn’t pitched for the Dodgers since July 10 because of a sore shoulder, is expected to return by the end of August. Treinen is expected back around Sept. 1 or 2, Manager Dave Roberts said.

The two right-handers were integral set-up men when the season began. Graterol went 2-3 with a 3.35 ERA in 37 appearances (40-1/3 innings) prior to the injury. Treinen has appeared in only three games this season. In 2021, Treinen posted a 1.99 ERA across 72 appearances, striking out more than a batter an inning.

Getting both pitchers back provides a jolt of experience to the bullpen for the stretch run, but Roberts would prefer to ease the pair back into their roles.

“Some softer landings initially would be better for everyone,” Roberts said. “The goal is to have both those guys take on any role in leverage, then be able to use (Evan) Phillips, Graterol and Blake kind of interchangeably, as far as right-handed relievers.”

MAY’S DAY

In what might have been his final rehab start with Triple-A Oklahoma City, right-hander Dustin May threw five innings for the first time since he tore the UCL in his right elbow in May 2021.

May threw 68 pitches against the Round Rock Express and gave up one run on a solo home run. May allowed three hits in all and walked one batter.

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