Kendall Graveman Doesn’t Suck


Kendall Graveman doesn’t suck.

Good, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, yesterday the Oakland Athletics rookie’s debut did nothing to strengthen his rotation candidacy, rookie-of-the year hype, or even potential as a quality major leaguer.

Still, it was just one start. His first start, by the way, and I’m still completely on the Kendall Graveman bandwagon.

This morning Fangraph’s fantasy baseball site Rotographs published an article with the very same thoughts I had about Graveman’s rough first outing.

The author, Robert Baumann gives a very even-keeled breakdown of Gravemen’s struggles,

"“Why? A deeper look at his line for the day (.357 BABIP; 43.8% GB%; two homers on six fly balls?) made me want to take a closer look at the start, so I watched the condensed game on What I saw was enough to convince me to give Graveman a couple more chances.Here’s what I saw:First InningLead-off walk to Leonys Martin. The only walk that Graveman surrendered.Single. Solid single by Shin-Soo Choo, though not especially hard struck.Error. Errant pick-off throw to second base leads to runners at first and third with no outs.Error. Weak grounder to third baseman Brett Lawrie; throw home is in plenty of time, but a little low and dropped by Stephen Vogt.Single. Soft liner by Prince Fielder scores another run.Single. Seeing-eye variety by Ryan Rua loads the bases. Still no outs.Sac fly by Mitch Moreland. Third run of the inning.Odd ground-ball double play ends inning.Third InningOut. Soft liner played nicely by Sam Fuld.Pop out in foul territory by Fielder.Single. Two-out dribbler by Rua extends the inning.Home run. Moreland goes oppo on what was a decent pitch down and away. Barely hit off the top of the wall in left-center. Mark Canha (playing left field) didn’t give up on it.Ground out ends the inning.Fourth InningHit by pitch. First pitch of the inning plunks Rougned Odor.Single. Carlos Corporan reaches safely on another seeing-eye grounder.Home run. Choo hits one out on a pitch that was down in the zone. From the looks of it, Choo thought it was an out, but the wind was blowing out to right-center at and (once again) the ball just barely hits off the top of the wall.And that was all for Mr. Kendall.”"

Read the rest of the column here, it is quite good.

I want to reinforce everything Baumann wrote. Graveman did what he was supposed to do. Which is throw strikes, allow weak contact, and get ground balls. It just happened to be that the Texas Rangers were crowding the plate, nerves led to a couple of errors in the first, and really the entire tone of his outing was set as soon as his pickoff throw sailed into centerfield.

Oakland Athletics fans, don’t be too worried, yet.