Graveman (0-3) allowed three runs on two hits and a walk in two-thirds of an inning Thursday, as the Mariners fell to the Giants 6-4. Graveman inflated his ERA to 8.10 and permitted what ended up being the winning runs. It was only Graveman's seventh appearance of 2020, as he has been battling a bone tumor throughout the summer. He will likely on in a middle-innings relief role for the remainder of the season.
Graveman was credited with his second hold in Sunday's win over the Rangers, allowing a hit over a scoreless eighth inning. The veteran right-hander was making his second relief appearance over the last three days after coming off the injured list due to a benign tumor on his neck, and as he did Friday, Graveman was efficient while getting through his one frame. The 29-year-old continues to keep the ball down in trademark fashion while operating out of the bullpen, as five of the six balls put in play against him over his first pair of relief appearances have been on the ground.
Graveman, who was credited with his first hold in Friday's win against the Rangers, made a strong impression on manager Scott Servais in the veteran's first appearance since being activated from the injured list, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. "Kendall Graveman was electric," Servais said. "His stuff was awesome. We saw that type of velocity at times when he was starting. We didn't know what we'd get out of the 'pen tonight. He was amped up, as he should have been, and I'm just really happy for him." The right-hander has been dealing with a benign tumor in his neck, and the outing marked his first relief appearance since 2014. Graveman was able to hit 95-99 mph with his fastball while throwing 13 pitches during his one inning, a frame during which he allowed no hits or walks and recorded one strikeout. Doctors have informed Graveman he won't worsen his condition if he pitches, but they suggested the discomfort he feels would be much more tolerable if he pitches the shorter stints the bullpen affords him. For his part, the 29-year-old is embracing the opportunity despite ideally wanting to be a part of the starting rotation. "I told Skip and [Mariners pitching coach Pete Woodworth], one or two innings is better than no innings in my book. I just want to be able to pitch. I have a passion for this game, I want to be around the guys, and I believe we're young in the bullpen, but we have a chance to be really good. I hope I can help with that and help the learning process for some guys."
Graveman was activated off the 10-day injured list Tuesday, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. The 29-year-old landed on the injured list in early August and was eventually diagnosed with a benign bone tumor in his spine, but he never gave up hope for a return to the field this season. Graveman opened the season in the Mariners' starting rotation, but he'll shift to the bullpen since his neck apparently proved bothersome in longer outings.
Graveman (neck) is still hopeful he'll be able to pitch again this season despite the fact he's dealing with a benign tumor in his spine, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. "He's still working through a few things," Mariners manager Scott Servais said Thursday. "He wants to see if there's a way he can still continue to try and pitch this year, whether in a shorter role out of the bullpen a couple innings here or there." Servais adds the veteran right-hander is highly regarded in the Mariners' clubhouse and has been a strong influence on the team's younger players, so there is certainly a willingness to have Graveman return if he's physically capable. That very much remains an open question, however, as surgery is currently not an option due to the location of the tumor yet doctors have also told him the situation won't worsen if he continues to pitch. Graveman was able to take the mound during an intrasquad game Monday at the team's alternate training site in Tacoma and reportedly displayed good velocity; therefore, there's a chance he could eventually reemerge, although it would most likely be as a relief option so as to prevent the fatigue that the tumor usually causes when Graveman's pitch count gets past a certain point.