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Notes: Buehler loose; Graterol's first bullpen

@kengurnick
February 17, 2020

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Walker Buehler is the latest Dodgers pitcher to confirm a change in his offseason throwing routine. “I didn’t take as much time off,” Buehler said Monday, after joining Tony Gonsolin as the first Dodgers pitchers to throw live batting practice. “It’s becoming like a thing. I talked

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Walker Buehler is the latest Dodgers pitcher to confirm a change in his offseason throwing routine.

“I didn’t take as much time off,” Buehler said Monday, after joining Tony Gonsolin as the first Dodgers pitchers to throw live batting practice. “It’s becoming like a thing. I talked to Max Scherzer at the All-Star Game about it.”

Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen also said they kept their throwing arms moving during the offseason, having shut down completely in past years and finding it harder to knock off the rust when throwing resumed.

“I feel fine, was throwing all right today,” Buehler said. “When you shut down, all this stuff has to stretch out again. The longer you take off, the tighter the hatch battens down.”

Brusdar Graterol, the hard-throwing right-hander acquired from Minnesota in the Kenta Maeda trade, threw his first bullpen session on Monday after missing a few days with a fever.

Graterol said he’s recovered from the shoulder impingement that shut him down for 10 weeks last season and was a contributing factor in the Red Sox’s decision to nix their acquisition of Graterol in the first version of the Mookie Betts/David Price trade.

Boston reportedly wanted the 21-year-old Graterol as a starter and wasn’t convinced he would hold up, having also missed 1 ½ years as a teen recovering from Tommy John surgery.

“I didn’t really pay attention to that,” Graterol said. “I know my body and I know I’m ready to go out there. I put in a lot of work and feel really good.”

Graterol said his goal is to be a big leaguer regardless of his role. The Dodgers for now view him as a reliever.

“It's a heavy ball, it's velocity,” said manager Dave Roberts.

Jimmy Nelson (groin) and Dustin May (side muscle) had their bullpen sessions, which were scheduled for Monday, pushed back.

May’s injury should make it even easier for the Dodgers to “slow-play” his ramp-up to save innings for later in the season.

• The Dodgers signed free-agent outfielder Terrance Gore to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League camp.

Gore is a 28-year-old speedster whose greatest tool is base stealing. Despite a .224 batting average in parts of six seasons with Kansas City and the Cubs, he has 40 steals and been caught nine times. He’s also out of options.

• Tyler Gilbert, the left-hander the Dodgers received from the Phillies for outfielder Kyle Garlick, reported and worked out with the club on Monday.

• Tyler White, who with Garlick was designated for assignment to make room for the acquisitions of Betts and Price, cleared waivers and was outrighted. He was re-invited to big league camp.

• Longtime pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, who stepped aside to become a special assistant, arrived in camp on Monday. Mark Prior, who had been bullpen coach, is the new pitching coach. Josh Bard rejoins the organization as bullpen coach and Rob Hill of Driveline Baseball is pitching coordinator.

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