Danny Graves says his strong spring is a good omen for the upcoming season:

But Graves thinks the good spring numbers are an indication of good things to come for him.

“I feel really good,” he said. “I feel like my arm speed is back. I feel like my velocity is better. I feel like I have more movement.”

Graves, a 31-year-old right-hander, has never been one to light up the radar gun. His fastball tops out in the low 90s.

But when he mentions more movement, he’s talking about downward movement on his sinker. That is the key to his success.

“My sinker has been sharper,” he said. “When it’s sharp, you can get away with pitches up. They still top it.”

Graves’ explanation for the added arm speed and velocity is he’s another year removed from the failed attempt to convert him to a starter.

Basically, Graves blames all his problems last year — he was “horrible,” he admits — on spending time in the starting rotation.

However, much like the rest of the team, Graves is optimistic about the team’s prospects this year:

“This is the most excited I’ve been about the beginning of the season in a long time,” he said. “We’ve got the team to compete this year.”

I hope.

6 Responses

  1. Chris

    His excuses (which are legion) are pathetic, and utter nonsense. Graves last started a game on August 21, 2003. In case he forgot, he was actually pretty effective for the first half of last year (2.72 ERA before All-Star break; 7.23 ERA after).

    How in the name of all that is good does his starting games in early 2003 affect him in late 2004?

    The funny thing is that Graves is the one touting this silliness – all it does is make him look like the most mentally-weak baby of all time. One change in role and he’s screwed up for two years? In the words of the late Nell Carter, gimme a break. I hope he IS better, so they can trade his overrated rear end asap.

  2. Chad

    If there is one thing I encourage here at RN, it’s more references to Nell Carter.

  3. JimV

    My favorite quote:

    “A closer is only as good as his setup guys,” Graves said.

    So, it’s the whopping 13 baserunners Graves inherited over the ENTIRE SEASON that are to blame for opponents slugging .500 against him. Those damn setup guys. They really screwed Graves over. It wasn’t his 30 EARNED RUNS.

  4. Chris

    Nice stats, JimV. Graves really should keep his mouth shut, since literally ever thing he says is proven not only inaccurate, but 100% so. Of course, maybe he just meant that his own game was hurt just from watching Phil Norton’s flailing about, or that he wasn’t able to relax in the bullpen, for fear of being hit by another homer off Gabe White.

  5. Juan Flores

    This young man went through a difficult personal period in his life which effected his game. Since some of us go through these type problems we understand.

    I realize that team owners are not charitible organizations but I feel that Danny is ready to get back on the field of Dreams and make those Dreams come true.