James Karinchak

James Karinchak

28-Year-Old PitcherRP
Cleveland Guardians
60-Day IL
Injury Shoulder
Est. Return 6/24/2024
2024 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for James Karinchak in 2024. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
RANKSFrom Preseason
#364
ADP
$Signed a one-year, $1.9 million contract with the Guardians in January of 2024.
Goes on 60-day IL
PCleveland Guardians
Shoulder
March 29, 2024
The Guardians placed Karinchak on the 60-day injured list Thursday with right shoulder inflammation.
ANALYSIS
According to MLB.com, Karinchak reported to camp dealing with right shoulder fatigue, but he made enough progress to get clearance to begin a throwing program March 11. The Guardians' decision to have Karinchak open the season on the 60-day IL perhaps signals that his throwing sessions aren't going as well as hoped, as he won't be eligible to make his 2024 debut until late May. Karinchak will likely continue to build back up at the Guardians' spring training facility in Arizona over the next few weeks before potentially heading out on a minor-league rehab assignment.
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Pitching Stats
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2024 MLB Game Log
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2023 MLB Game Log
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2022 MLB Game Log
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2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2022
Even Split
2024
No Stats
2023
 
 
-33%
BAA vs RHP
2022
 
 
-34%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2022vs Left .169 152 49 24 21 4 1 4
Since 2022vs Right .169 179 65 25 25 3 1 4
2024vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2024vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2023vs Left .222 71 20 14 12 3 0 3
2023vs Right .148 100 32 14 12 1 1 3
2022vs Left .129 81 29 10 9 1 1 1
2022vs Right .194 79 33 11 13 2 0 1
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2022
 
 
-32%
ERA at Home
2024
No Stats
2023
 
 
-43%
ERA at Home
2022
 
 
-13%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2022Home 2.13 1.08 38.0 3 1 1 12.3 5.7 0.5
Since 2022Away 3.15 1.35 40.0 1 4 2 14.0 5.6 1.4
2024Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2024Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2023Home 2.33 1.29 19.1 1 1 0 11.2 7.4 0.5
2023Away 4.12 1.37 19.2 1 4 0 12.8 5.5 2.3
2022Home 1.93 0.86 18.2 2 0 1 13.5 3.9 0.5
2022Away 2.21 1.33 20.1 0 0 2 15.0 5.8 0.4
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring James Karinchak See More
Mound Musings: A Look at Pitching in the AL Central
107 days ago
Brad Johnson looks at the American League Central, and in Cleveland, he's been won over by Shane Bieber, whose once rather-average stuff has improved significantly.
AL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
May 14, 2023
Erik Siegrist looks over the AL free-agent pool as Nick Pratto makes some noise for the Royals.
Mound Musings: The Endgame Odyssey Continues – American League
May 11, 2023
Brad Johnson looks at unstable AL bullpens, including in Texas where the Rangers hope Jose Leclerc will step up to claim the closer job.
Closer Encounters: 2023 Closer Rankings 2.0
March 17, 2023
Ryan Rufe shares his updated closer rankings, with Josh Hader taking the top spot following Edwin Diaz's knee injury.
Mound Musings: A Look at Pitching in the AL Central
March 2, 2023
Brad Johnson breaks down the pitching situations in the AL Central, starting in Chicago where Johnson expects Lucas Giolito to have a bounce-back season.
Latest Fantasy Rumors
Not traveling to Toronto
PCleveland Guardians
August 9, 2022
Karinchak will not be able to join the Guardians in Toronto due to Canada's COVID-19 vaccine requirement, reports Mandy Bell of MLB.com.
ANALYSIS
Karinchak is the only player on Cleveland's roster that is not vaccinated and, thus, is ineligible to make the trip across the border to begin a three-game set in Toronto starting Friday. The Guardians will likely try and get the 26-year-old some innings this week before they depart for Canada and probably will need his relatively fresh arm when they return stateside for a doubleheader against Detroit on Monday.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2023
2022
2021
2020
Karinchak was one of Cleveland's biggest question marks coming into 2022 after a volatile season the year before. Unfortunately, he strained the teres muscle in his right shoulder during spring training and the injury required a trip to the 60-day IL. Karinchak didn't make his season debut until July, but the returns were promising as he went on a 23-game scoreless streak after struggling in his first two outings. The 27-year-old's velocity was fine and he improved his strikeout rate (38.8%) by nearly six percent, but still averaged nearly five walks per nine innings, which would have been a bottom 10 rate among relievers if he pitched enough innings to qualify. Karinchak's days of sharing the Guardians' closer role are over, but he should remain one of the top options for ancillary saves behind Emmanuel Clase, while maintaining deeper mixed-league appeal due to his strikeout upside.
Karinchak wasn't Cleveland's full-time closer after all. While it looked like the flamethrower might be on that path early last season - he was absolutely dominant from April through June with a 2.60 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 59 strikeouts in 34.2 innings - there was a noticeable downswing in Karinchak's performance once MLB banned pitchers from using sticky substances. He simply fell apart after July 1, posting a 6.53 ERA, 1.55 WHIP and 19 strikeouts over 20.2 innings the rest of the way. Walks were still a major issue (5.2 BB/9) and he served up nine home runs (1.5 HR/9), thus resulting in a demotion to the minors in late-August. Not all value was lost, as he still posted seven wins, 11 saves and 13 holds across 60 appearances. Karinchak will have to prove to Cleveland this spring that he's capable of handling high-leverage work again. We've seen his upside and he could very easily re-enter the mix for saves.
It doesn't look like we will have to wait long to see Karinchak in the full-time closing role. He looked the part in 2020, but manager Terry Francona justifiably stuck by veteran Brad Hand, who led MLB with 16 saves. However, Cleveland declined Hand's contract option for 2021. Karinchak is only 25 but has already established himself as a dominant major-league reliever. He struck out nearly half of the 109 batters he faced last season (48.6%). He was generous with the free passes (14.7 BB%), but it hardly mattered if he put a couple runners on in an inning because nobody could cash in with contact, let alone good contact. The right-hander did lose a little fastball velocity last season and that bears watching in spring training. As long as Karinchak has not lost another tick and he's still around 95 mph on average, he should excel as Cleveland's new closer as his curveball is unfair.
The following numbers are not typos: Karinchak threw 36.1 innings across four different levels of professional baseball last season. He struck out 82 batters in that time; 56% of the hitters he faced. He has a bit of funk in his delivery, but uses it to throw mid-to-upper-90s fastballs with rising action and a 12-6 hammer curveball to hitters out of the bullpen. He was a starter in college, but the switch to relief happened for him in 2018 and his career has literally zoomed from there. That said, Karinchak didn't even crack the top 30 of the Baseball America Prospect Handbook last year, so this development even took the experts by surprise. All the recent evidence suggests he will be one of the best strikeout relievers in baseball as a rookie. If he can limit free passes, he profiles as the obvious heir apparent to Brad Hand in the ninth inning. Hand is under contract for 2020 with a team option for 2021.
More Fantasy News
Initiates throwing program
PCleveland Guardians
Shoulder
March 11, 2024
Karinchak (shoulder) has been cleared to begin a throwing progression Monday, Mandy Bell of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Experiencing shoulder fatigue
PCleveland Guardians
Shoulder
February 16, 2024
Karinchak is behind schedule due to right shoulder fatigue, MLB.com reports.
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Agrees to terms for 2024
PCleveland Guardians
January 11, 2024
Karinchak signed a one-year, $1.9 million contract with the Guardians on Thursday to avoid arbitration, Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
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Dealt fifth loss
PCleveland Guardians
September 27, 2023
Karinchak (2-5) allowed a run on two hits and struck out one over two-thirds of an inning to take the loss Tuesday versus the Reds.
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Returns to majors
PCleveland Guardians
September 18, 2023
Karinchak was recalled from Triple-A Columbus on Monday, Zack Meisel of The Athletic reports.
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