James Karinchak

James Karinchak

27-Year-Old PitcherRP
Cleveland Guardians
2023 Fantasy Outlook
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. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
$Signed a $138,300 contract with the Indians in June of 2017.
Earns win Wednesday
PCleveland Guardians
September 29, 2022
Karinchak (2-0) struck out the side to earn the extra-inning win over the Rays on Wednesday.
ANALYSIS
Karinchak needed 15 pitches (10 strikes) to keep the game tied at 1-1 in the 10th inning, and Amed Rosario delivered a walkoff single in the bottom half of the frame. Over his last six innings, Karinchak has a 9:1 K:BB and has allowed only two hits without surrendering a run. The righty owns a 1.45 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 59:19 K:BB with three saves, eight holds and a blown save through 37.1 innings this year.
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Pitching Stats
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2022
2021
2020
2019
2022 MLB Game Log
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2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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Pitching Appearances Breakdown
Average Pitch Count
19
Last 10 Games
21
Last 5 Games
22
How many pitches does James Karinchak generally throw?
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
What part of the game does James Karinchak generally pitch?
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
% Games Reaching Innings Threshold
% Games By Number of Innings Pitched
Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2020
 
 
-17%
BAA vs LHP
2022
 
 
-34%
BAA vs LHP
2021
 
 
-21%
BAA vs LHP
2020
 
 
-23%
BAA vs RHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2020vs Left .154 260 98 36 34 5 3 5
Since 2020vs Right .185 241 92 33 37 5 0 7
2022vs Left .129 81 29 10 9 1 1 1
2022vs Right .194 79 33 11 13 2 0 1
2021vs Left .158 131 48 17 18 3 1 4
2021vs Right .200 104 30 15 17 3 0 5
2020vs Left .189 48 21 9 7 1 1 0
2020vs Right .146 58 29 7 7 0 0 1
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2020
 
 
-2%
ERA on Road
2022
 
 
-13%
ERA at Home
2021
 
 
-6%
ERA on Road
2020
 
 
-3%
ERA on Road
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2020Home 3.15 1.07 60.0 10 4 3 14.6 4.5 1.1
Since 2020Away 3.08 1.24 61.1 0 2 12 14.1 5.7 0.7
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
2021Home 4.18 1.25 28.0 7 3 2 14.1 5.1 1.6
2021Away 3.95 1.17 27.1 0 1 9 11.2 5.3 1.3
2020Home 2.70 0.98 13.1 1 1 0 16.9 4.1 0.7
2020Away 2.63 1.24 13.2 0 1 1 18.4 6.6 0.0
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Stat Review
How does James Karinchak compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 innings)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 30 IP). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • K/BB
    Strikeout to walk ratio.
  • K/9
    Average strikeouts per nine innings.
  • BB/9
    Average walks per nine innings.
  • HR/9
    Average home runs allowed per nine innings.
  • Fastball
    Average fastball velocity.
  • ERA
    Earned run average. The average earned runs allowed per nine innings.
  • WHIP
    Walks plus hits per inning pitched.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many balls in play against a pitcher go for hits.
  • GB/FB
    Groundball to flyball ratio. The higher the number, the more likely a pitcher is to induce groundballs.
  • Left On Base
    The percentage of base runners that a pitcher strands on base over the course of a season.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Barrels/BBE
    The percentage of batted ball events resulting in a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Spin Rate
    Spin Rate is the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Balls Hit 95+ MPH
    The percentage of batted balls hit that met or exceeded the 95 MPH threshold.
  • Swinging Strike
    The percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss.
K/BB
2.95
 
K/9
14.3
 
BB/9
4.8
 
HR/9
0.5
 
Fastball
95.2 mph
 
ERA
2.08
 
WHIP
1.10
 
BABIP
.294
 
GB/FB
0.56
 
Left On Base
84.6%
 
Exit Velocity
82.5 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
3.8%
 
Spin Rate
2364 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
20.5%
 
Swinging Strike
12.9%
 
Prospect Rankings History
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring James Karinchak
Closer Encounters: 2022 Saves in Review, Part 2
44 days ago
Ryan Rufe recaps the saves landscape in this year's NFBC Main Event and shares his own hits and misses from this past season.
The Z Files: NFBC Holdem Rankings and Strategies
52 days ago
Todd Zola shares his gameplan and his rankings for NFBC Postseason Holdem contests.
MLB: Postseason Cheat Sheet and Strategy
56 days ago
Todd Zola tackles the MLB Postseason Cheat Sheet for RotoWire and discusses his approach to postseason leagues this year.
MLB FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
77 days ago
Jason Shebilske's weekly set of waiver recommendations includes Drew Smyly, who's been consistently strong since the start of August.
Closer Encounters: The Home Stretch
79 days ago
Ryan Rufe highlights bullpens to avoid down the stretch as well as a few names to target. Could Raisel Iglesias claim the closer role in Atlanta down the stretch?
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2022
2021
2020
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
Tallies third save
PCleveland Guardians
September 14, 2022
Karinchak allowed one hit and struck out one across a scoreless ninth inning to earn the save Wednesday against the Angels.
ANALYSIS
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Earns second save
PCleveland Guardians
September 11, 2022
Karinchak picked up the save in Sunday's 4-1 win over the Twins. He struck out three in one scoreless inning with two walks and no hits allowed.
ANALYSIS
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Posts first save
PCleveland Guardians
September 7, 2022
Karinchak struck out two in a perfect inning to earn the save in Tuesday's 4-1 win over the Royals.
ANALYSIS
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Back with team
PCleveland Guardians
August 15, 2022
Karinchak was reinstated from the restricted list Monday, Mandy Bell of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Placed on restricted list
PCleveland Guardians
Personal
August 12, 2022
Karinchak was placed on the restricted list Friday.
ANALYSIS
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