ANAHEIM ― The Dodgers might have dodged a bullet in the bullpen.
Brusdar Graterol reported improvement in his right shoulder on Friday, a day after he was placed on injured reserve for inflammation. The team were still awaiting the results of an MRI, but manager Dave Roberts said he expects the right-hander’s time on the injured list to be brief.
“I don’t know if it’ll be fair when he’s eligible, but hopefully a few weeks will be enough,” Roberts said.
Graterol leads the Dodgers relievers in appearances (37) and innings (40⅓) while posting a 3.35 ERA. As a recent replacement for closer Craig Kimbrel, the 23-year-old has converted two save chances in his last three appearances. He hasn’t allowed a point in 14 of his last 15 games.
“Given the injury, the value he adds to our ball club, if we can err on the side of caution if it takes a few more days or another week, we will,” Roberts said.
Graterol’s absence on Friday added to an already large void in the Dodgers’ bullpen.
Kimbrel and top picker Evan Phillips were both down, Roberts said, after both pitching Wednesday and Thursday nights in St. Louis.
The Dodgers then erased almost any chance of a save situation by taking an 8-0 lead in the sixth inning before a reported crowd of 44,648 at Angel Stadium.
Yasiel Puig and Julio Urías, two of three major leaguers Mike Brito helped sign on a single visit to Mexico in 2012, expressed their love for the Dodgers scout who died last Thursday.
“I feel like he’s with me in heaven,” Urías, who leaves for the Dodgers on Saturday, said in Spanish.
“He was a great person, a great human being,” Puig said. “He discovered Yasiel Puig and my talent. … I want to dedicate the matches, the successes and what I will do here in Korea to the great scout Mike Brito. I love him and one day we will meet again in paradise.
Roberts said he has no plans to make any of his starting pitchers available outside the bullpen during the Freeway Series despite the impending All-Star break. … Outfielder Chris Taylor (fractured bone in foot) has been cleared to return to light baseball activities, but is still banned from running, Roberts said. … Andrew Heaney is expected to make a minor league rehab debut Saturday for Class A Rancho Cucamonga, Roberts said. Heaney, on the disabled list with an inflamed shoulder, pitched to live batters Tuesday in St. Louis. … Dustin May, recovering from Tommy John surgery in Arizona, remains on track to begin a minor league rehab assignment next week at 10 days.
Dodgers (LHP Julio Urías, 7-6, 3.01 ERA) at Angels (LHP Jose Suarez, 1-3, 4.79 ERA), Saturday, 7 p.m., Bally Sports West, SportsNet LA, 570 AM