JAMES STEPHEN KARINCHAK...Three-year letter winner at Valley Central HS in Walden, NY...Pitched three seasons at Bryant College in Smithfield, RI, going a combined 26-11 with a 2.83 ERA in 42 games/39 starts (229.0IP, 169H, 72ER, 272SO)...Second Team All-NEC as a junior despite battling shoulder issues...Named first preseason All-American in program history...Has been very active in the bullpen's Ready to Respond program; hosting groups of first responders in the community at the ballpark once per homestand.
Enjoyed a bounce back 2022 after a rocky second half of 2021, posting a 2-0 record with three saves and a 1.91 ERA over his final 29 games after July 31 (28.1IP, 16H, 45SO, .160 avg)…His season average against of .161 was fourth-lowest among AL relievers...32 of his 38 games were scoreless, including a career-high 24.2IP scoreless streak from July 9-Sept. 7, marked the longest streak by a CLE reliever in a single season since Dan Spillner in 1982 (28.2IP)…Opened season on IL (right back strain); activated and optioned to AAA on July 2; recalled on July 3, spending remainder of season with Cleveland...62SO in 39.0IP (14.31 SO/9); tallied a SO in 12 straight outings to end season…From July 4-end of season, his 62 SO was first among AL relievers (min. 20.0IP) and his 14.31 SO/9 ranked second...3rd-lowest avg. against among MLB relievers since 2019 (.167, 74-for-444); also second-lowest in AL...Post All-Star break MLB reliever rankings (min. 20IP): SO (first, 52), SO/9 (fifth, 14.18)…Career best: ERA (2.08), FIP (2.23), WHIP (1.10)…Did not allow a run over four postseason outings (5.0IP, 3H, 0R, 4BB, 6SO).
It was a tale of two seasons for James, from a dominant All-Star caliber first half to a second half demotion to AAA Columbus...Made only one ML appearance after August 28...Did not allow a run over his first 13 outings (11.2IP) and allowed just one run over his first 21 outings thru May 22 (20.2IP, 3H, 1R/ER, 7BB, 38SO, 3-for-66, .045)…Struggled some from May 23-June 19, allowing 11 runs over 10.0 IP and 12 appearances (11H, 9ER, 9BB)…Righted the ship, June 20-July 16, yielding just one run (1ER) over 9.2 innings (9 games)...Wrapped up the first half with a 6-2 mark with a 2.52 ERA in 41 games (39.1IP, 18H, 11ER, 22BB, 68SO, 15.6K/9IP, .132 avg)…Wheels came off starting on July 30, yielding 11 runs (11ER) and 13 hits over 12 outings that sent his ERA from 2.78 to 4.14...Was optioned to AAA Columbus on August 28...Overall in the second half, he posted a 7.88 ERA in 19 games (16.0IP, 17H, 14ER, 10BB, 10K, 5.6 K/9IP, .270 avg)…At the time of his 8/28 demotion he was T5th in the A.L. in games (59), T12th in saves (11) and fifth in relief strikeouts (77)…On the year, left-handed hitters were 18-for-114 (.158) with 48 strikeouts …Fanned 78 of 235 (33%) batters faced on the year and 139 of 366 (38.0%) in his career...Allowed 7 SB (0CS)…Career has allowed 9 SB vs. 2 CS...Recalled for the final weekend of the season at Texas, recording a scoreless inning on Oct. 1 (1.0 IP, 1 SO, 3 BF)...At Triple-A he worked on his mechanics with the pitching team, Aug. 28-Sept. 14, before making Columbus debut on Sept. 15...Allowed a run(s) in only one of his seven Columbus outings, surrendering just three hits with nine SO in 6.0IP.
Finished tied for first among Major League relievers in strikeouts (53), which led the AL, while finishing tied for sixth in games (27), seventh in opponent batting average (.159), tied for eighth in holds (8) and ninth in relief IP (27.0)...Did not allow an earned run over his first 7 outings (7.1IP) thru Aug. 9 and over his first 15 outings thru Aug. 25 he posted a 0.54 ERA (1ER/16.2IP/31SO)...Endured a rough patch, Aug. 29-Sept. 4, allowing 5 runs (5 ER) in 2.1 innings and 2 blown saves over 3 appearances...Over his last nine outings, he allowed just 2 ER over his last 8.0 innings (16 SO)...Allowed earned runs in 6 of his 27 outings...Recorded his first MLB save, July 30 at Minnesota, and first MLB win on Sept. 27 vs. Pittsburgh in the final game of the year...Batters hit just .159 (14-for-88) off him for the year while recording 17.7 strikeouts per 9.0 IP...ML hitters hit .186 (8-for-43) w/runners on base and 4-for-22 (.182) w/RISP...Fanned 53 of his 109 batters faced (48.6%), striking out 51% (30/59) of right-handed hitters and 46% of LH batters (23/50)men on (28K)… Overall, RH hitters were 7-for-49 (.143)...Has never allowed a HR to a LHH in his career...Struck out at least one batter in 22 straight games, Sept. 25, 2019-Sept. 11, 2020, the third-longest streak in club history... Struck out at least two batters in eight straight games, Aug. 9-24, longest stretch by a Cleveland RP since Alan Embree in 1996 (club record 9 in 1913, Willie Mitchell)...Relieved Carlos Carrasco in the fourth inning of Game 2 of the AL Wild Card Series vs. New York-AL, yielding a grand slam to Gio Urshela that erased a 5-1 lead before walking the next two hitters... Did not record an out in his postseason debut (3 BF)...Marked the sixth postseason grand slam allowed by a Tribe pitcher and the fourth time in MLB history a pitcher allowed a grand slam to the first batter faced in his postseason career.
Recorded a terrific Minor League campaign and was promoted to the Major Leagues on September 13 in just his third professional season...Compiled a Minor League record of 1-1 with 8 saves and a 2.67 ERA across 30 relief appearances for the AZL Indians (Blue), AA Akron and AAA Columbus (30.1IP, 16H, 9ER, 17BB, 74SO, .150 avg)... For the regular season, he averaged a Minor League-best 22.0 strikeouts per 9.0 IP and fanned 74 of the 125 batters he faced (59%)...He began the season in Akron, was promoted to Columbus on May 3 and was on the 7-day Injured List, May 11-July 23, with a right hamstring strain....Rehabbed with the Rookie Arizona League team, July 16-21, before returning to Columbus...Struck out at least one batter in 29 of 30 outings, at least two batters in 26 of 30 and recorded three or more strikeouts in 18 of 30 appearances...Tossed a season-high 2.0 IP on August 21 vs. Louisville...Did not allow a run over his first 13 outings on the season between Akron and Columbus, allowing just 5 hits while fanning 32 batters over 13.0 innings... He recorded 3.1 scoreless innings over three postseason appearances for International League champion Columbus (2H, 4BB, 8SO)... Overall Minor League hitters batted .150 (16-for-107, 2HR), right-handed hitters hit .200 (14-for-70, 2HR, 47 SO) and lefties batted just .054 (2-for-37, 27 SO)...Batters hit .146 (7-for-48) with runners on with 36 strikeouts...After the season was named an organizational All-Star by MLB.com for the first time...Made his Major League debut on Sept. 14 in the second game of a split doubleheader vs. Minnesota, recording three strikeouts in 1.1 scoreless innings of relief...Made five MLB relief appearances in September, recording a 1.69 ERA (5.1IP, 3H, 1R/ER) with a walk and eight strikeouts.
Split the season between Lake County, Lynchburg and AA Akron, going a combined 4-2 with a 1.29 ERA in 42 relief outings (48.2IP, 29H, 36BB, 81SO, .177 avg, .595 OPS)...Finished fifth in the Carolina League in saves (13).