James Karinchak

James Karinchak to begin rehab assignment

It has been a long time, but James Karinchak is inching closer to his Cleveland Guardians return. The electric reliever has officially left Arizona and has arrived in Columbus to begin a rehab assignment. This is after Karinchak suffered an injury during spring training which led to his extended stay in Arizona.

James Karinchak acquired the eyes of many once he took the mound for the Guardians. Incredibly effective for Cleveland, Karinchak’s first two seasons saw the reliever finish with a 2.51 ERA, 1.052 WHIP, and 17 strikeouts per 9.

2021 was not as kind to Karinchak as 2019 and 2020. In 60 games Karinchak had a 4.07 ERA, 1.211 WHIP, and 12.7 strikeouts per 9. This includes a 39 game stretch where it was about as bad as bad can be for the young right hander. Allowing 24 runs in 34.2 innings, a slash line of .241/.360/.474, an an ERA of 6.23. Important to note is that this start predates the sticky stuff crackdown in MLB by about a month. Focusing on post June 21 shows Karinchak with slightly better numbers, but still less than acceptable by an MLB reliever (15 earned runs in 23.2 innings, .233/.346/.456 opponent slash line, 5.70 ERA).

Even if James Karinchak does not fully return to form it will be a massive boost for the Guardians bullpen. Bringing Karinchak back into the mix would provide a little bit of stability to a group that has been up and down to start the year.

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