Baseball takes little time off in between seasons, so neither can we. Follow along at Did the Tribe Win Last Night as we count down to March 26, when the Cleveland Indians host the Detroit Tigers for game one of the 2020 season. – BT
Countdown to Opening Day – 70
A little over a year after George Kontos brought the number 70 out of the Indians bullpen for the first time in franchise history, it returned to the mound on the back of promising young flamethrower James Karinchak.
The Indians gave up a 4-1 lead in the middle innings as the Philadelphia Phillies used eight unanswered runs to defeat Cleveland by a 9-4 count on Saturday night.
With every win valuable down the stretch for the playoff contending Tribe, it was a tough blow to the team’s chances of October baseball on Saturday night. An early three-run lead went for naught as the pitching staff could not protect the advantage while the offense disappeared after putting up a four-spot in the first two frames. A loss by the Minnesota Twins kept the Indians (91-64) within four games in the American League Central, but a two-run home run in extras by the Tampa Bay Rays gave them a walk-off win over Boston and a full game lead over the Indians for the second AL Wild Card spot.
Miguel Sano’s first pitch grand slam off of Nick Goody in the top of the eighth capped a six-run frame for the Minnesota Twins, which held on for a 9-5 win over the Cleveland Indians to complete a doubleheader sweep on Saturday night.
The Twins may have turned out the lights at Progressive Field on Saturday with back-to-back significant victories to knock the Indians six games back in the loss column in the American League Central Division. Cleveland was in desperate need of a three-game sweep over the weekend, which would have cut the Central deficit down to just one game. Instead, the Indians not only are plummeting quickly within the division, but they are losing ground at a rapid pace in the AL Wild Card race as well.
Do you know the name James Karinchak? If you’re a Cleveland Indians fan, it may be time to get acquainted.
You won’t find the name James Karinchak listed at Cleveland’s MLB pipeline page, or see it included in Baseball America’s Prospect Handbook coverage of the Cleveland Indians. It is likely he will join those ranks next year. Since the start of the season Karinchak has significantly improved his pitching and on May 3, he earned a promotion from Low-A Lake County to High-A Lynchburg.
The numbers between his first season as a professional and those of his second season are radically different. The 6’3” power right-hander out of Bryant University began his professional career with the short-season Mahoning Valley team after being a ninth round selection in 2017. In ten games, six as a starter, he posted a 5.79 ERA over 23 1/3 innings, with a 2-2 record.
These are not the numbers you want to post to move up into prospect status, but Karinchak bore down and made some adjustments on the mound.