I’ll be the first to admit, I was skeptical about the James Karinchak hype this spring, concerned his command issues from the minors would prevent him from reaching his upside right away. Well so far, that couldn’t have been further from reality as Karinchak has walked just 2 hitters in 6.1 IP. His stuff is so good that he can live in the zone comfortably, not needing to rely on pinpoint command.
So just how good is Karinchaks stuff? His 45.5% K, 18.3% SwStr and 67.9% Z-Contact rates all rank in the top 20 amongst active relievers. His curveball currently has a 43% Whiff and 31.6% Put Away rate. Oh, and his xStats are pretty good also. Combined with his bulldog mentality, what’s not to like about the Indians future closer?
- Ryan Pressly had a rough blown save last night and while his velocity looked fine, something is clearly off. Maybe that cut on his finger is worse than we know, but it is very unlike Pressly to have just one Whiff in 15 pitches thrown. It could be the finger injury, maybe his mechanics are out of wack, maybe he is tipping his pitches. Either way, it seems like these struggles can be fixed so I’m not totally rushing to drop him just yet.
- Brad Hand has been better this past two outings, but one thing that worries me and should worry the Indians is his ability to work on back to back days. His velocity on the second day of a back to back seems to take a hit, about a 2 mph decline on his fastball and with Karinchak as an option, you have to wonder if they’d be better off not using him on back to back days.
- He may be the new favorite for saves for the Angels, but Ty Buttrey still hasn’t shown he is the same dominant reliever he was for much of last season. A 3.9 K% and 6.5% SwStr rate aren’t exactly ideal from a closer.
- Jairo Diaz led the league in SV+HLD this past week with 4, although it hasn’t exactly been a smooth ride. He allowed 5 hits and a walk over 3.2 IP, and will continue to be best deployed when not pitching at Coors.
Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)