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Twins' top pitching prospect could be on his way to big leagues soon

He could be a great addition to the bullpen.

Brusdar Graterol could be wearing a Twins uniform at Target Field in the near future. 

Assistant General Manager Rob Antony told Darren Wolfson on the Scoop Podcast on SKOR North (KSTP-AM) that "I would not be surprised to see him up in Minnesota at some point, maybe this month." 

After missing the last two months with shoulder issues, Graterol went down to the Gulf Coast league on a rehab assignment, where his fastball has touched triple digits. 

He was activated from the inured list on Wednesday, Aug. 7 and is now back at Double-A Pensacola.

Even though Graterol's been a starter in his minor league career, it sounds like he could be moved to the bullpen, where he could be an electric option for the Twins.

"His arm feels great. So we need to build him and give him a few more outings and hopefully that continues and I don't think we'd be afraid to run him up here and see if he can't be part of the equation in the bullpen." said Antony. "I think it's too late in the season to build him up to come up and start. It would take most of the rest of the season and I'm not sure even once you get into September that you're to that point where you would want to do that, but that doesn't mean he can't pitch multiple innings out of the bullpen that way."

The 20-year-old right-hander is Minnesota's best pitching prospect since Jose Berrios, ranking as high as the 34th prospect in the MLB, according to Baseball America.

In his four-year minor league career, Graterol has a career ERA of 2.47 with 219 strikeouts in 203 innings.

So far, Sergio Romo has been a fantastic addition to the Twins, as he's allowed zero runs and just two baserunners (15 batters faced) in his four innings of work since being acquired from the Miami Marlins.

Unfortunately, fellow deadline add Sam Dyson has yielded miserable results allowing six earned runs in 0.2 innings and is now on the injured list with bicep soreness.

Even though Graterol hasn't logged many innings above Double-A (just 47 innings), he could be an excellent arm next to Romo and lefty Taylor Rogers in Minnesota's bullpen. 

Past World Series teams like the St. Louis Cardinals (2006) and Tampa Bay Rays (2008) used Adam Wainwirght and David Price as late-inning specialists when they were rookies, and those two still wound up being decorated starting pitchers.

The Twins' bullpen ranks eighth in ERA (4.45) in the American League, which is a far cry from the other juggernauts who should be in the mix in October.

  1. Indians, 3.29 
  2. Astros, 3.75
  3. Rays, 3.79
  4. Yankees, 3.80

So the addition of Graterol to the Twins should definitely be on the table.

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