Elephant Rumblings: James Kaprielian finishes strong

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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.

James Kaprielian ends with a 4.23 ERA and 98 Ks in 134 IP over 26 starts. He posted a 1.80 ERA over his final 4 starts: “Wasn’t the year I wanted. But I could say positively that I learned a lot. A lot of things that I’m gonna digest. .. I’m excited about the way it finished.”

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:

Over his last four starts vs. Seattle (including today), James Kaprielian has allowed just nine hits and three runs in 24.0 innings pitched (1.13 ERA). In eight career starts against Seattle, he has a 2.80 ERA and a .178 batting average against in 45.0 IP.

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.

Wishing the best to A’s coach Darren Bush, whose home community was ravaged by the hurricane.

A’s are giving Sean Murphy the day off out of precaution after he left yesterday due to illness. He’d be available in an emergency situation, per Kotsay.

Over the last 11 years the A’s have either made the playoffs or finished last in 10 of the 11 seasons...have the most 100-loss seasons in ML history but the 2nd most 100-win seasons...are tied for the most last place finishes but are tied for the 3rd most World Championships.

If great defense brings confidence at the plate, Nick’s future is bright.