White Sox bolster bullpen by signing Kendall Graveman

MLB

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – OCTOBER 31: Kendall Graveman #31 of the Houston Astros delivers the pitch against the Atlanta Braves during the eighth inning in Game Five of the World Series at Truist Park on October 31, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

CHICAGO (WTVO/WQRF) [news release] – The Chicago White Sox have agreed to terms on a three-year, $24-million contract with right-handed relief pitcher Kendall Graveman.
 
Graveman, 30, combined to go 5-1 with a 1.77 ERA (11 ER/56.0 IP), 61 strikeouts, a .180 (35-194) opponents average, 0.98 WHIP, 10 saves and 11 holds over 53 appearances last season with Seattle and Houston.
 
Graveman ranked among the American League relief leaders in ERA (3rd), opponents OPS (.536), opponents average (5th), groundball percentage (12th, 55.6) and WHIP (12th). He limited right-handed batters to a .117/.222/.126 (12-103) slash line with one extra-base hit (no home runs) and was one of 13 pitchers in baseball to record 10-plus saves and holds.

“Kendall is a veteran who provides us with end-of-game bullpen depth and an ability to induce ground balls,” said Rick Hahn, White Sox senior vice president/general manager. “He’s a high character guy and a great teammate who will fit well within our clubhouse and bullpen.”
 
Graveman began the season with the Mariners, going 4-0 with a 0.82 ERA (3 ER/33.0 IP), 10 saves and a 0.70 WHIP before being traded to the Astros on July 27 with RHP Rafael Montero in exchange for right-hander Joe Smith and infielder Abraham Toro. He made 23 appearances with Houston during the regular season, posting a 3.13 ERA (8 ER/23.0 IP) with seven holds.
 
Graveman pitched in nine games during the postseason, recording a 1.64 ERA (2 ER/11.0 IP) with two holds and 11 strikeouts as the Astros advanced to the World Series. He threw 2.0 scoreless IP in both the deciding Game 6 of the ALCS vs. Boston and Game 5 of the World Series at Atlanta.

Graveman, a native of Alexander City, Ala., is 29-33 with a 4.15 ERA (240 ER/520.2 IP) in 147 games (80 starts) over seven major-league seasons with Toronto (2014), Oakland (2015-18), the Mariners (2020-21) and Astros (2021). He spent his first five seasons in the majors as a starter before moving to the bullpen in 2020.

Among pitchers who have thrown at least 500.0 IP since the start of the 2015 season, Graveman ranks 12th with a 52.6 groundball percentage. He originally was selected by the Blue Jays in the eighth round of the 2013 draft out of Mississippi State.

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