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Elephant Rumblings: James Kaprielian finishes strong

MLB news roundup

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MLB: Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, Athletics Nation!

A’s starter James Kaprielian has had his share of ups and downs this season, but he finished strong after a particularly rough August, with an ERA of 1.80 in his final four starts.

Kaprielian was struggling as summer gave way to fall; he had an especially tough start against the Yankees on August 25 in which he allowed eight runs and six walks in just 2⅔ innings.

But Kap began turning things around in September after returning from an IL stint that resulted from a paper cut on his right middle finger. He posted a quality start against a quality Houston Astros lineup on September 15, and he pitched a pair of gems against the playoff-bound Mariners: one yesterday in Seattle, and another in Oakland on September 21. Kaprielian pitched 13 scoreless innings and struck out 13 Mariners in those games.

Kaprielian pitched five no-hit innings yesterday en route to prevailing in a matchup against the Mariners’ 2021 Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray. The A’s noted that their 28-year-old righty has been tough on the M’s of late:

Kaprielian was slightly worse in 2022 than 2021 by several metrics: his ERA increased from 4.07 to 4.23, his K/9 decreased substantially from 9.28 to 6.40, and his BB/9 went up from 3.09 to 3.94. But hopefully this strong finish to 2022, combined with the right preparation and adjustments this offseason, will have Kaprielian primed for a breakout in 2023.

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