Kendall Graveman

Kendall Chase Graveman[1] (born December 21, 1990) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays, Oakland Athletics, and Seattle Mariners. He was drafted by the Blue Jays in the eighth round of the 2013 MLB draft and played parts of two seasons in minor league baseball before being called up by the Blue Jays in September 2014. Working exclusively as a starting pitcher since his first full year in the major leagues, he became a relief pitcher in 2020 following a medical diagnosis.[2]

Kendall Graveman
Kendall Graveman 2015a (cropped).jpg
Graveman with the Oakland Athletics in 2015
Houston Astros – No. 31
Pitcher
Born: (1990-12-21) December 21, 1990 (age 30)
Alexander City, Alabama
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
MLB debut
September 5, 2014, for the Toronto Blue Jays
MLB statistics
(through September 12, 2021)
Win–loss record29–33
Earned run average4.16
Strikeouts355
Teams

High school and collegeEdit

Graveman attended Benjamin Russell High School, where he posted a 6–3 record with a 1.19 earned run average and 90 strikeouts over 63 innings in his senior year.[1] In 2010, his first year at Mississippi State University, Graveman was used primarily as a reliever and finished the season with a 2–4 record and a 7.02 ERA.[1] In 2011, he made 14 appearances (9 starts), compiling a 5–0 record and a 3.65 ERA.[1] Graveman was drafted by the Miami Marlins in the 36th round of the 2012 Major League Baseball draft, but did not sign with the team.[3] In 2011, he played collegiate summer baseball with the Cotuit Kettleers of the Cape Cod Baseball League, and returned to the league in 2012 to play for the Wareham Gatemen.[4][5] In his senior year at MSU, he made 16 starts, including all of the team's 10 starts against teams in the SEC, and posted a 4–4 record with a 2.81 ERA and 59 strikeouts.[1]

Minor league careerEdit

Graveman was selected in the 8th round, 235th overall, by the Blue Jays in the 2013 MLB draft.[6] He received a signing bonus of $5,000,[7] and was assigned to the Class-A Lansing Lugnuts. Graveman would pitch to a 1–3 record and a 4.31 earned run average over 3923 innings in 2013.[3]

He began the 2014 season with Lansing, but was promoted to the High-A Dunedin Blue Jays after making 4 starts for the Lugnuts and posting a 2–0 record with a 0.34 ERA, including a near no-hitter over the Beloit Snappers.[8][9] In Dunedin, he compiled an 8–4 record in 16 starts, with a 2.23 ERA and 64 strikeouts.[3] Graveman was promoted to the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats and made just 1 start, a 6-inning win over the Binghamton Mets, before being promoted to the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons.[10][11] In his Triple-A debut, he took the loss, pitching 6 innings in a 2–1 loss to the Norfolk Tides.[12] Graveman would allow only 1 earned run in his following 3 starts, bringing his ERA to 1.04 through 26 innings with Buffalo.[13] He finished the 2014 minor league season with a 14–6 record over 16713 innings, with an ERA of 1.83, 115 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 1.03. He also gave up only 2 home runs and issued 31 walks, for a BB/9 of 1.7.[3] On September 3, Graveman was named to Baseball America's First Team All-Stars for 2014.[7]

Major league careerEdit

Toronto Blue JaysEdit

On September 1, 2014, Graveman was called up to the Blue Jays as a part of the September roster expansion.[14][15] He made his MLB debut on September 5, against the Boston Red Sox. Graveman made 5 total appearances for the Blue Jays in 2014, and posted a 3.86 ERA, 4 strikeouts, no walks, and a 0.86 WHIP in 423 innings pitched.[16]

Oakland AthleticsEdit

On November 28, 2014, Graveman was traded to the Oakland Athletics, along with Brett Lawrie, Sean Nolin, and Franklin Barreto, for Josh Donaldson.[17] After opening the season as the fifth starter, Graveman was optioned to the Triple-A Nashville Sounds on April 26, 2015, after going 1-2 with an 8.27 ERA in 16.1 innings.[18] Graveman was called back up to the A's on May 23.[19] He finished his rookie season with a 6–9 record and 4.05 ERA in 21 starts.[16]

 
Graveman pitching for Oakland in 2015.

On April 20, 2016, Graveman became the first pitcher to bat at the new Yankee Stadium and struck out after 3 pitches.[20][21] Graveman batted in the clean-up spot, and became the first pitcher to bat clean-up since Babe Ruth in 1920.[22] Graveman became the A's only consistent starter for the 2016 season, notching 10 wins in 31 starts.

With Sonny Gray starting the 2017 season on the DL with a lat strain, Graveman was chosen to start on opening day, the first opening day start of his career. He pitched six innings, struck out seven and took the win over the Los Angeles Angels. On April 17, 2017, Graveman was placed on the 10-day disabled list due to a right shoulder strain.[23] His first game back with the A's, April 27, Graveman executed an unassisted double play. The previous such play made by an Oakland pitcher was on July 11, 1971, by Blue Moon Odom, who happened to be in attendance at Angel Stadium and witnessed Graveman make the play.[24] After starting a couple of games after being activated, Graveman was placed again on the disabled list on May 29 due to shoulder soreness.[25]

On March 20, Graveman was announced as the 2018 opening day starter for the second consecutive year.[26] After starting the season 0–5 with an 8.89 ERA, Graveman was demoted to Triple-A on April 26.[27] Graveman underwent Tommy John surgery on July 24, 2018. He was non-tendered by the Athletics on November 30, 2018, and became a free agent.[28]

Chicago CubsEdit

Graveman signed a one-year contract with an option for the 2020 season with the Chicago Cubs on December 23, 2018.[29] He spent the 2019 season in the minor leagues. He became a free agent after the season.

Seattle MarinersEdit

On November 26, 2019, Graveman signed a one-year contract with the Seattle Mariners.[30] Graveman made the Mariners Opening Day roster in 2020. On July 27, 2020, he made his Mariners debut.[31]

On August 17, 2020, it was announced that Graveman had a benign bone tumor in his cervical spine. Following a nearly month-long stay on the injured list, he returned to the active roster as a relief pitcher,[2] citing less stress/pain on the tumor as the reason for his conversion.[32] Graveman finished the 2020 season with a 1–3 record and a 5.79 ERA in 11 games, including two starts.

On October 28, 2020, the Mariners declined their $3.5 million team option on his contract for the 2021 season, making him a free agent.[33] He re-signed with the Mariners the following day on a one-year, $1.25 million contract with a reported $2.5 million in incentives which, if reached, would represent a slight raise from the team option had it been exercised.[34] In 30 appearances for the Mariners in 2021, Graveman recorded a stellar 0.82 ERA with 34 strikeouts in 33.0 innings.[35]

Houston AstrosEdit

On July 27, 2021, Graveman was traded along with Rafael Montero to the Astros in exchange for Abraham Toro and Joe Smith.[36] Graveman allowed no runs in six of his first seven appearances for the Astros, and struck out 32.2% of the batters he faced.[37] On August 31, 2021, Graveman came into a scoreless game against the Mariners in the eighth inning. He loaded the bases on a walk, a single, and a hit by pitch, bringing Toro to the plate. On the eighth pitch of the at bat, Toro hit a 413 foot grand slam to right-center field which accounted for all of the runs scored in the game.[38]

Scouting reportEdit

Graveman is a sinkerballer, throwing his sinker between 91 and 96 MPH. He also throws a cutter, a slider, and a change-up from a modified two-seam circle changeup grip.[39]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e "Kendall Graveman – Mississippi State University Bulldogs Official Athletic Site". hailstate.com. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  2. ^ a b https://www.thenewstribune.com/sports/mlb/seattle-mariners/article245526005.html
  3. ^ a b c d "Kendall Graveman Minor League Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  4. ^ "#32 Kendall Graveman - Profile". pointstreak.com. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  5. ^ "#6 Kendall Graveman - Profile". pointstreak.com. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  6. ^ Dakers, Tom (June 7, 2013). "Blue Jays Pick Kendall Graveman RHP in the 8 Round, Pick 235". bluebirdbanter.com. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  7. ^ a b Eddy, Matt (September 3, 2014). "Minor League All-Star Team 2014". Baseball America. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
  8. ^ Heneghan, Kelsie (April 18, 2014). "Lugnuts' Graveman loses no-hitter in ninth". MiLB.com. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  9. ^ Franzoni, Kyle. "Interview: Getting to know Blue Jays prospect Kendall Graveman". jaysjournal.com. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  10. ^ Stevens, Kevin (July 28, 2014). "BMets fall to New Hampshire, newcomer AA pitcher". pressconnects.com. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  11. ^ "Graveman to start for Bisons Saturday". MiLB.com. August 1, 2014. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  12. ^ "Graveman pitches well in Herd loss". buffalonews.com. August 2, 2014. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
  13. ^ DeLuca, Dave (August 17, 2014). "Walkoff homer sinks Herd, 3–2". MiLB.com. Retrieved August 17, 2014.
  14. ^ Davidi, Shi (September 1, 2014). "Pompey, Norris among 9 called up by Blue Jays". Sportsnet. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  15. ^ Bonner, Michael (September 1, 2014). "Former Bulldog Graveman gets call to big leagues". The Clarion-Ledger. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  16. ^ a b "Kendall Graveman Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  17. ^ Chisholm, Gregor (November 28, 2014). "Donaldson reeled in from A's for Lawrie, prospects". MLB.com. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
  18. ^ Silva, Drew (April 26, 2015). "A's option fifth starter Kendall Graveman to AAA". hardballtalk.nbcsports.com. Retrieved April 26, 2015.
  19. ^ "Athletics put Coco Crisp on 15-day DL". espn.com. Associated Press. May 23, 2015. Retrieved May 24, 2015.
  20. ^ @AP_Sports (April 21, 2016). "Kendall Graveman became the first..." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  21. ^ Baer, Bill (April 20, 2016). "Graveman becomes first pitcher to bat at new Yankees Stadium". mlb.nbcsports.com/. NBC Sports. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
  22. ^ DaSilva, Cameron (April 21, 2016). "A's pitcher becomes first starter to bat cleanup since Babe Ruth". foxsports.com. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
  23. ^ Lee, Jane (April 17, 2017). "Shoulder strain forces Graveman to DL". MLB. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  24. ^ Monagan, Matt (April 27, 2017). "Watch Kendall Graveman turn a highly unusual and incredible unassisted double play". MLB.com. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  25. ^ "Athletics' Kendall Graveman: Officially placed on DL". cbssports.com. May 29, 2017. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  26. ^ "A's Announce 2018 Opening Day Starter".
  27. ^ Gallegos, Martin (April 26, 2018). "A's option Opening Day starter Kendall Graveman to Triple-A". mercurynews.com. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
  28. ^ Schulman, Henry (December 1, 2018). "A's allow Kendall Graveman, Mike Fiers to become free agents". SFChronicle.com. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  29. ^ "Cubs, rehabbing pitcher Graveman reach deal". ESPN.com. December 22, 2018. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  30. ^ Seattle Mariners (November 26, 2019). "Mariners Sign Free Agent RHP Kendall Graveman". MLB.com. Retrieved November 26, 2019.
  31. ^ "Kendall Graveman K's three". MLB.com. July 28, 2020. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  32. ^ "With the World Series over, here are some key dates and decisions looming for the Mariners". The Seattle Times. October 27, 2020.
  33. ^ "Mariners Decline 2021 Club Option On Kendall Graveman". MLB Trade Rumors.
  34. ^ "Mariners Re-Sign Kendall Graveman". MLB Trade Rumors.
  35. ^ "Kendall Graveman Stats". Baseball-Reference.com.
  36. ^ "Astros trade for Graveman, Montero from M's". July 27, 2021. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  37. ^ Kramer, Daniel (August 21, 2021). "Toro-Graveman deal pays off for both teams". MLB.com. Archived from the original on September 2, 2021. Retrieved September 2, 2021.
  38. ^ Kramer, Daniel. "Abra-slam Toro! Mariners shock Astros". MLB.com. Archived from the original on September 1, 2021. Retrieved September 2, 2021.
  39. ^ Lockard, Melissa (December 3, 2014). "Oakland A's Prospect Report: Kendall Graveman". athletics.scout.com. Retrieved April 27, 2015.

External linksEdit