Red Sox

Brusdar Graterol's injury history may explain why trade to Red Sox is on hold

Brusdar Graterol's injury history may explain why trade to Red Sox is on hold

Mookie Betts and David Price still are members of the Boston Red Sox, and Brusdal Graterol reportedly is to blame.

The Red Sox' blockbuster three-team trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Minnesota Twins reportedly is on hold due to Boston's concerns over Graterol's medical records: The Sox apparently now view the Twins right-hander as more of a reliever than a starter and are seeking additional compensation as a result.

That begs the obvious question: Where do Boston's concerns stem from?

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

Below is a brief history of Brusdal's two notable ailments since signing with Minnesota in 2014 as an international free agent.

2016: Tommy John surgery

Graterol made his professional debut in 2015 on Minnesota's Dominican Summer League team but tore his UCL after four starts, then underwent Tommy John surgery that caused him to miss the entire 2016 season.

The Venezuela native returned to action in 2017 and went 4–1 with a 2.70 ERA over 10 games (seven starts) with the Gulf Coast League Twins and Elizabethton (Appalachian League) Twins.

2019: Shoulder injury

Graterol posted a 5-0 record with a 1.49 ERA over his first nine starts for Double-A Pensacola in 2019 but hit the injured list in May with a right shoulder impingement.

Here's what Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey had to say about Graterol's injury at the time, via MLB.com:

"Any time you have a shoulder injury in a young pitcher, you certainly have concern. Elbow and shoulder are the two that pop up. I think the fact that he's felt some pain and it's more significant of late, we definitely have some concern."

Graterol pitched just once between May 14 and Aug. 1 before returning to action for Pensacola in August. He earned a major-league call-up on Sept. 1 and made 10 appearances for Minnesota, primarily as a reliever: He threw no more than 25 pitches in any of those outings.

That's two significant injuries before Graterol's 22nd birthday. The young right-hander also throws very hard (occasionally hitting 100 mph on his sinker), which may explain why the Red Sox were "spooked" by his medical review, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.

The latest reports suggest this trade still will go down, but even a brief glance at Graterol's injury history reveals why the Red Sox may want a bit more in this deal.

Red Sox claim RHP Phillips Valdez off waivers, place Dustin Pedroia on 60-day IL

Red Sox claim RHP Phillips Valdez off waivers, place Dustin Pedroia on 60-day IL

The Boston Red Sox have made yet another move to bolster their pitching depth.

On Sunday, they claimed right-hander Phillips Valdez off waivers from the Seattle Mariners. To make room for Valdez, they placed veteran second baseman Dustin Pedroia on the 60-day injured list.


LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

Valdez, 27, only has 11 games worth of major league experience under his belt. In 2019, he posted a 3.94 ERA and 1.62 WHIP in 16 innings pitched with the Texas Rangers. Valdez was claimed off waivers by the Mariners in November, then designated for assignment on Saturday.

Pedroia suffered a "significant setback" during his knee rehab, so his placement on the 60-day IL doesn't come as a surprise. The 36-year-old did not report to spring training with the Red Sox.

Along with Valdez, Boston has added Chris Mazza, Martin Perez, Trevor Hildenberger, to its pitching staff this offseason.

An Opening Day start for Red Sox' Chris Sale: 'I think I'm going to be ready'

An Opening Day start for Red Sox' Chris Sale: 'I think I'm going to be ready'

Already coming off a season cut short by an elbow injury that shut him down last August, Chris Sale's spring training got off to a slow start as he recovered from a bout with pneumonia just as pitchers and catchers reported to Red Sox camp in Fort Myers. 

He says he's progressing after the illness led to him dropping a few pounds from his already thin frame (6-foot-6, 180). He'll throw a side session Sunday and told reporters on Saturday that he thinks he'll be ready for Opening Day March 26.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

"I think I’m going to be ready for [the opener]. But like I said, those aren’t my calls to make. I go out there, do my job, tell them how I feel on a daily basis," Sale said. "Obviously as the workload picks up, we have to see how things work out. I’ve just got to be open and honest with them and then we map out a plan and see how it works out."

In a Friday interview on WEEI's "Ordway, Merloni and Fauria" show, Sale said having his season end early last summer and going through a rehab process to avoid Tommy John surgery has him raring to go into 2020 despite questions about his stamina.

"I feel like I'm better now than I was then because of going through that [injury and rehab]."

Sale hasn't reached 200 innings pitched since 2017. He went 6-11 in 25 starts (147.1 IP) in what he called "a nightmare season" in 2019 after his and all the starters' workloads were limited in spring training and he struggled with his velocity at times before the injury was diagnosed.

"I feel really good," he told WEEI. "I can sit here and tell you what I want to do, what I think I'm going to do, but I've just got to go do it. I live here in town and put in a lot of work. I was here four to five times a week. It's exciting. For me, this really started last September October when that rehab process began.

"I gotta get back to the basics. Not really worry about fading, the injuries. This is sports. Injuries can happen overnight...I'm not worried about what my track record is or what people are thinking of me."