The Guardians have summoned flamethrowing reliever James Karinchak from Triple-A, per Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal. Karinchak was only activated from a rehab assignment yesterday, opting for Triple-A yesterday, but an injury in the bullpen prompted Cleveland to call on their one-time stopper. He will make his season debut for the big league-club when he first appears in a game.
Karinchak was briefly the preeminent firefighter in the game during a 2020 breakout campaign in which he racked up a 2.67 ERA in 27 appearances in the final two months of the season. Karinchak took eight holds and a save, while striking out an absurd 48.6 percent of opponents. There seemed little doubt that the former ninth round draft pick would be an important part of the Guardians’ end-of-game formula.
It started that way in 2021 when Karinchak made 11 saves and didn’t even allow an earned run until his 14th appearance of the season. However, things got worse and Karinchak ended the year on the injured list. Not to draw a direct correlation, but it was certainly a point of interest that Karinchak started struggling around the time of MLB’s crackdown on tacky stuff. As of June 21, when MLB began checking for banned substances until the end of the season, Karinchak’s ERA rose to 5.70 ERA/6.09 FIP. Of course, he also suffered an injury, and there may be some extenuating circumstances that reduced Karinchak’s effectiveness.
In the accompanying movement, Anthony Gose was placed on the 15-day injured list with a strained left triceps. The injury is not considered serious. Ridenour provides this quote from pitching coach Carl Willis, who said of the roster move: “Unfortunately, we had to go the IL route just because with the double header and the schedule as it is, we can’t go a day short.”
Gose is maybe the heartwarming, this-is-why-we-love-this-game-story of the year. The 31-year-old former outfielder has successfully put down a reverse Rick Ankiel and made himself a prized piece of Cleveland’s bullpen. The southpaw has appeared in 22 games, logged 21 innings of work and posted an overall 4.71 ERA/5.07 FIP, while knocking out an impressive 30.4 percent of enemy fighters. He struggled a bit with his command, but he walked 15.2% of the batters, almost double the Major League average of 8.2 percent. Based on Willis’ comments, the Guardians are likely expecting Gose to return once his 15 days are up.