Minor League Sports

Brusdar Graterol proves he's healthy in strong start for C.R. Kernels, who lose double-header to Beloit

Prized pitching prospect goes 7 strong in return from disabled list

Cedar Rapids Kernels pitcher Brusdar Graterol delivers a pitch during the top of the fourth inning of their Midwest League baseball game against the Beloit Snappers at Veterans Memorial Stadium in southwest Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Wednesday, June 6, 2018. (Jim Slosiarek\The Gazette)
Cedar Rapids Kernels pitcher Brusdar Graterol delivers a pitch during the top of the fourth inning of their Midwest League baseball game against the Beloit Snappers at Veterans Memorial Stadium in southwest Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Wednesday, June 6, 2018. (Jim Slosiarek\The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — A lot of people in Twins Territory may have hyperventilated when they saw pitcher Brusdar Graterol get placed on the disabled list with the Cedar Rapids Kernels last week.

Had you seen him walk out of the home clubhouse at Veterans Memorial Stadium with a huge ice bag on his right hand and wrist after a recent game, you likely freaked.

But it turned out to be nothing. The gas-throwing uber prospect had an “injury” that was exactly as the DL report said it was: a right hand contusion.

Game 2

BOX SCORE (GAME 2) - 060618 vs Beloit.pdf by Jeff Johnson on Scribd

Just a little bruise he believe came from sleeping on his hand the wrong way.

“No problem,” Graterol said, after he returned with seven strong innings Wednesday afternoon in the first game of a day-night, double-header sweep at the hands of the Beloit Snappers. Beloit won the opener in eight innings, 4-3 and the nightcap, 3-0.

“The night it happened, I was sleeping on top of my hand,” Graterol said, through translator and Kernels co-pitching coach Cibney Bello. “It started tingling. I didn’t pay much attention to it. The next day, when I came to the field, I noticed the bruise.”

“It was pretty much precautionary,” Bello said, of Graterol’s short DL stint. “When I played catch with him outside, I knew he was fine.”

Graterol was his upper-90s self Wednesday, as that is where most of his fastballs were clocked. He hit 100 miles per hour once.

A-S Rosters

06-06 ASG Rosters.pdf by Jeff Johnson on Scribd

Beloit scored a run each in the fifth and sixth innings against him. He allowed six hits, didn’t walk anyone and struck out four, employing more of a sinking two-seam heater.

“No, no, no,” Graterol said in English, when asked if he ever got concerned about his hand. The 19-year-old Venezuelan had Tommy John elbow surgery two years ago.

“I knew it wasn’t anything bad,” he said, through Bello. “How can something bad happen when you are sleeping?”

Graterol, shortstop Royce Lewis, outfielder Alex Kirilloff and relief pitcher Jared Finkel were named to the Midwest League All-Star Game’s Western Division team Wednesday, the league announced. Lewis and Kirilloff were selected as starters via vote of league managers.

The 54th-annual all-star game is Tuesday, June 19, at Cooley Law School Stadium in Lansing, Mich.

The Kernels fell to a season-worst 27-31 with the sweep. Two runs in the eighth against losing reliever Calvin Faucher (1-2) in Game 1 dropped Cedar Rapids to 2-6 in extra innings this season.

They were limited to two hits in Game 2. Beloit starter Bryce Conley (3-2) came one out from a complete-game shutout.

The teams conclude their six-game series Thursday night with a single nine-inning game at 6:35.

Click on “A-S Rosters” icon at top of page to view entire Midwest League All-Star Game rosters.

l Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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