Brusdar Graterol was cruising Wednesday before he all of a sudden wasn't. And while it looked worrisome at the time, Twins fans can breathe a little easier.
Minnesota's third-ranked prospect was taken out of his gem with Double-A Pensacola for precautionary reasons, the team confirmed to MiLB.com. He was experiencing trapezius tightness, but after being evaluated, he's expected to take his next turn in the Blue Wahoos rotation. Darren Wolfson of KSTP first reported the specifics of the injury scare.
Graterol finished with two hits and one walk allowed and three strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings in Pensacola's 1-0 win at Mississippi. He threw 69 pitches, 41 of which were strikes.
Gameday box score
The 20-year-old right-hander retired the first nine M-Braves he faced and began the sixth inning having allowed only one hit before giving up a one-out double to Drew Waters. Graterol's fastball was sitting around 96-98 mph for most of the matinee, but his 1-2 fastball to Waters came in at just 90 mph, raising concerns. Right-handed reliever Tom Hackimer took over after Graterol was looked at by trainers.
Injury concerns aside, Graterol improved to 4-0 with a 1.91 ERA and 0.98 WHIP through his first seven starts with Pensacola. He has struck out 36 and walked 15 over 37 2/3 innings while holding opposing batters to a .168 average -- third-lowest in the Southern League. He was also the third-youngest player to open the 2019 season in the Double-A circuit, behind only Waters and fellow Mississippi outfielder Cristian Pache.
Video: Blue Wahoos' Graterol fans Lien
Ranked as the No. 62 overall prospect in the game by MLB.com, the Venezuela native sports two plus pitches in his 70-grade fastball and 60-grade slider to go along with average offerings in his curveball and slider. With that mix, he can be a groundball specialist -- as he was Wednesday, when he recorded seven groundouts and just three flyouts.
2019 MiLB include
No. 17 Twins prospect Luis Arraez went 2-for-5 with an RBI to lead the Pensacola offense.
Waters -- the Braves' No. 8 prospect -- finished 3-for-5 with two doubles from the leadoff spot for Mississippi. No. 22 Tucker Davidson (0-1) pitched well in the loss, giving up one earned run on six hits and three while fanning seven over five innings.