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Graterol makes spot start; injury updates

@kengurnick
September 16, 2020

The Dodgers switched up starting pitchers on the Padres prior to their 7-5 win over the Padres in Wednesday's series finale, giving Brusdar Graterol his second opener assignment in a week in place of Dustin May. Although May was knocked out of his start last Thursday after one inning following

The Dodgers switched up starting pitchers on the Padres prior to their 7-5 win over the Padres in Wednesday's series finale, giving Brusdar Graterol his second opener assignment in a week in place of Dustin May.

Although May was knocked out of his start last Thursday after one inning following a line drive to his left foot, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said May was healthy enough to pitch multiple innings later in Wednesday's game. Rather, Roberts said this decision amounted to a trial run for the postseason, a "pivot" to create better matchups against an opponent's batting order.

"I expect Dustin to take down some innings," Roberts said. "With Brusdar and who they hit at the top of their order, I love the matchup. There are matchups you can maximize that give you a better chance to win. Three days ago, the plan was for [May] to start, but we have the right to pivot when we want to."

Graterol allowed one run in 1 1/3 innings, while May surrendered three runs on three hits while striking out six over 5 1/3 frames.

• Roberts said Walker Buehler threw a six-inning simulated game at the club's alternate training site on Monday with his index finger blister covered. He will have another later this week and will be activated to make one final big league start next week to prepare for the postseason.

• Just before Wednesday's game, the Dodgers made a flurry of roster moves, adding relievers Joe Kelly and Josh Sborz and utilityman Zach McKinstry while placing reliever Caleb Ferguson on the injured list and outfielder Joc Pederson on the family medical emergency list.

Kelly was out five weeks, the first month for shoulder inflammation, the last five games on suspension. His arrival is timely, as Ferguson injured his left elbow Tuesday night and left the game in mid inning. "I think it's a pretty good tear, but there might be an opportunity to pitch through it," Roberts said after the game. "That's his decision to make." Ferguson had Tommy John surgery as a high school senior. No explanation was given for the Pederson move, but he was on the paternity list last week. McKinstry provides infield depth and Sborz has pitched well while on the shuttle back and forth to the alternate training site.

• The Dodgers announced their 30-game 2021 Cactus League schedule, with their 13th season of Spring Training in Arizona beginning on Saturday, Feb. 27, against the Chicago Cubs in Mesa. The Dodgers will open their home schedule the following day, Sunday, Feb. 28, against the Texas Rangers at Camelback Ranch-Glendale. After returning from Arizona, the club will conclude its exhibition schedule with the Freeway Series against the Angels in Southern California. Details on the Freeway Series will be announced at a later date.

• The Dodgers will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month virtually with community engagement, social media programming and broadcast enhancements. The club will look back at baseball's neighborhood roots in Los Angeles with a "Barrio Baseball" panel on Thursday and hold a career panel with Latino employees on Friday for local high school and college students. The club's social media channels, the team's media partners and the Dodgers' game broadcast will tell the stories of the club's current and past Latino players and honor the organization's deep connection with the Latino community throughout the month.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.