Who is the ‘Vinnie Pestano’ of 2020? Answer: James Karinchak
Before his falloff, Vinnie Pestano was considered one of the best setup-men in baseball. In his 2011 season alone, Pestano registered a Bullpen Mafia-high 84 strikeouts over 62 innings of work, accounting for nearly half of his outs recorded. This is actually eerily similar to what we’re seeing this season out of James Karinchak.
Providing the fire-throwing setup-man of the 2020 Bullpen Mafia, Karinchak has 31 strikeouts over 16.2 innings, resulting in 62% of his outs coming by strikeout. But it isn’t just the strikeouts that makes Karinchak special in the eighth the way Pestano was.
So far this year, Karinchak’s ERA is just 0.54 while his WHIP is 0.66. Both of those statistics are leading the group we’re talking about here. He is just dominant, and honestly a much better version of Pestano.
In addition to a stellar ERA and WHIP, Karinchak has allowed just one earned run and given up only five hits and no home runs. The one concern is he has six walks on the year, but at just 24-years old there is plenty of time to correct that. Don’t be surprised if Karinchak is not only a member of Bullpen Mafia for a long-time, but soon the anchor of the group working the ninth.