03 Jul

best-laid plans

The Chicago White Sox, the heavy favorite in the American League Central entering the 2022 season, signed Kendall Graveman last off-season to bolster their bullpen as a set-up man. The former Mississippi State standout has done well. The White Sox, due in part to injuries, have not. Graveman has a 2.34 ERA, 13 holds, five saves and a 2-1 record in 33 games for the White Sox, who are 37-39 and in third place in a relatively weak division. Pressed into duty as a closer when Liam Hendriks went down with an injury on June 14, Graveman went 3-for-3 in saves and allowed just one earned run in six appearances. That came on Saturday, when, pitching for the second straight day at San Francisco, Graveman allowed three hits and a score while protecting a 5-2 lead in the ninth inning. Now in his eighth MLB season, Graveman broke in as a starter, moved to closer in 2020 with Seattle and became a set-up man with Houston last season, helping the Astros reach the World Series. Making a return trip to the Fall Classic with the ChiSox might have seemed very realistic when Graveman signed, but it doesn’t look that way now, through no fault of his own. P.S. Ole Miss product Aaron Barrett has announced that he’ll throw his final pitch on July 4, ending a pro career that goes back to 2010 and includes 95 MLB appearances. Barrett overcame numerous injuries to pitch in 2019 for Washington and subsequently earn a World Series ring. Now 34, he is currently with Philadelphia’s Triple-A Lehigh Valley team.

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