Kendall Graveman beginning to find himself this spring

SURPRISE, Ariz. — It’s taken a while, but A’s starter Kendall Graveman is starting to feel like the pitcher the A’s expect to get come Opening Day.

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At his best keeping the ball on the ground, something he felt he did not do enough of in his previous three outings, Graveman utilized his sinker well by getting several hitters to hit ground balls in Tuesday’s 9-8 win over the Royals.

That’s who I am,” Graveman said. “I showed that I could get the ball back on the ground with good movement. Now what’s left is building up the pitch count.”

It wasn’t all smooth for Graveman. He ran into some trouble in the fourth, giving up two runs as he allowed the first five batters of the inning to reach base, and was removed by manager Bob Melvin before he was able to record an out.

Despite some shaky infield defense on a couple of plays by infielders Jorge Mateo and Franklin Barreto, manager Bob Melvin said he thought fatigue played a factor in Graveman’s poor inning.

“I thought he was good. He got a little tired at the end. He hasn’t been up that fourth time,” Melvin said. “We saw what we typically see out of Kendall, which is a lot of strikes, a little variation in velocities with his fastball, and a lot of movement.”

Graveman had wanted to pitch deeper into games after failing to go past the third inning in his first three starts of the spring, so Tuesday was a step in the right direction.

Ending up being charged with four earned runs in three innings of work, Graveman said hitting the first batter of the fourth inning was the ultimate cause of his unraveling. With a few more outing left this spring to build up his stamina, Graveman …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports

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