SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Kendall Graveman is off to a solid start in his bid to make the Oakland Atheltics’ season-opening rotation.
After rocketing through the minors last season with Toronto, the 24-year-old right-hander gave up two hits in two scoreless innings Friday in the A’s 7-2 victory over Arizona, his first big-league spring training appearance.
“No nervousness, just a little bit extra adrenaline,” he said.
Graveman was in Toronto’s minor league camp a year ago.
“I threw 21 innings last spring training and I felt great,” he said. “I think that’s kind of where it all started, to go out there and have some success in my first spring training and just keep it rolling.”
He began last season at Class A Lansing and had stops at all four Toronto minor league levels before making five relief appearances for the Blue Jays.
Along the way, he picked up a cutter that, combined with his sinking fastball, made him effective against major league hitting and set the stage for his shot at making the A’s rotation. He came to Oakland as part of trade that sent Josh Donaldson to Toronto.
“The cutter was ok today,” he said. “A couple of pitches I threw really good, a couple kind of backed up on me.”
A brisk wind was blowing in at Salt River Fields.
“There were a couple of times that it was blowing in my back and I felt a little rushed out of the windup because of that,” Graveman said.
Neither hit Graveman allowed, both in the first inning, was hit hard.
‘If I’m going to give up those kind of hits,” he said, “I’m pleased with giving them up that way.”
Robbie Ray, 23, is among many pitchers in the mix for Arizona’s rotation after coming in an offseason trade with Detroit.
“Arm felt good. Everything was going good,” the left-hander said. “I had a little bit of trouble in the second inning with some command, got behind in some counts, didn’t get into the groove I wanted to get into, but it’s spring training. I’m just trying to work on things.”
Ray was 1-4 with an 8.16 ERA for Detroit last season. He was 7-6 with a 4.23 ERA with Triple-A Toledo.
The Diamondbacks agreed to terms on one-year contracts for 24 pre-arbitration players.
Among them are outfielders A.J. Pollock, Ender Inciarte and David Peralta. Pollock will be the opening day center fielder and either Inciarte or Peralta will be on the roster as well. Both probably will be if Arizona is successful in having Cuban newcomer Yasmany Tomas play third base.
The moves put all players on the Diamondbacks’ 40-man roster under contract.
Athletics: OF Josh Reddick was a late scratch due to a right oblique injury.
Diamondbacks: INF Chris Owings, recovering from shoulder surgery, took batting practice for the first time on Friday. He is expected to be ready for the season opener, probably as a starter at either shortstop or second base.
Athletics: Another candidate for a rotation spot, right-hander Chris Bassitt, will get his first start of the spring Saturday against the Los Angeles Angels. Bassitt came to Oakland in the trade that sent right-hander Jeff Samardzija to the Chicago White Sox.
Diamondbacks: Right-hander Josh Collmenter, a leading candidate to be opening-day starter, makes his spring debut when Arizona plays the Seattle Mariners Saturday in Peoria. Collmenter was 11-9 with a 3.49 ERA last season.