Cleveland Guardians spring training: James Karinchak feels the wrath of the pitch clock

Cleveland Guardians Photo Day
Cleveland Guardians Photo Day / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

Among all the various rule changes coming to Major League Baseball this season, the pitch clock is perhaps the most invasive to the game we know - though it's a much-needed change.

Cleveland Guardians reliever James Karinchak is likely going to be one of the players most affected by the change, in which a pitcher now has 15 seconds to deliver a pitch with the bases empty or 20 seconds with someone on base. As Guardians fans know well, Karinchack has something of a manic pre-pitch routine, constantly tossing the ball in his hand, adjusting his jersey, getting his body comfortable, etc.

And during Sunday's Cactus League action against the Texas Rangers, Karinchak became an early victim of the pitch clock, though it's not entirely his fault. Sure, Karinchak is still able to do an abbreviated version of his pre-pitch routine, but the wrinkle here is that Karinchak also asked for a new ball during the at-bat, which caused the pitch clock to expire, penalizing the Guardians pitcher by issuing a ball to the count.

The thing is, the clock should have reset once Karinchak asked for a new ball.

It's a wrinkle in the rule most people - including those managing the pitch clock - seemingly weren't aware of, but this is exactly why it's being tested out so thoroughly this spring. That being said, a quirk like this, and a mistake on the part of the clock operator, lends itself to a manager or two getting kicked out of a game should this happen during the season and it has major repercussions to an at-bat.

Just one more thing for pitchers to be aware of this season.