graveman
Photo: MLB

#49

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Kendall Graveman

Kendall Chase Graveman

Height: 6'2"    Weight: 200

Bats/Throws: Right / Right

Born: 12/21/1990 in Alexander City, Alabama

Offseason home: Birmingham, Alabama

College: Mississippi State University

Nickname: Digger

GrandSalami.net-Suggested Nickname: Digger

Family: Wife Victoria

Acquired: Signed as a free agent (11/26/2019)

MLB Debut: 09/05/2014

Free Agent after: 2021 season

Another Jerry Dipoto Reclamation Project™, Graveman joined the M's prior to last season in an attempt to reestablish himself after rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. Before his injury, Graveman was a suitable mid-rotation guy (despite getting the Opening Day start twice while with the Athletics), logging innings without being terribly impressive one way or another; after just two starts with Seattle, though, the big Mississippi State product was hurt again, hitting the injured list with neck spasms. Turned out Graveman has a benign tumor in his upper spine, a problem he's choosing to live with and one that will keep him from starting any more games. The shorter stints of a reliever are more tolerable for him, but it remains to be seen if he can handle pitching several times a week or how long he can go at one time. He did return to action as a reliever for the second half of last year's short season, including a couple of one-inning appearances in back-to-back days, and did well; the Giants tagged him for three runs on September 17th, but otherwise he posted excellent numbers out of the ’pen.

Graveman figures to see action as a setup man this year, though with so many question marks in this crop of bullpen arms, that could change on a dime. He throws as hard as ever (mid-to-upper 90s with the fastball) and has been working on a new slider, a pitch it's a little surprising he didn't have as a starting pitcher all those years, as his main weapons as a reliever. Many a pitcher have made fine careers out of a two-pitch arsenal over one inning appearances, and with Graveman's stuff he might thrive in the new role. Like fellow former starter Erik Swanson, the move to relief may end up being the best thing that could happen to the man they call "Digger."

TH, 3/19/21