As a result of having claimed three players on waivers earlier this week, the Cleveland Guardians found themselves in a position where they had to make room on their major league roster.
Cody Morris and Hunter Gaddis were sent down to Triple-A Columbus ahead of their series with the Tampa Bay Rays to make room for Reynaldo Lopez and Matt Moore. James Karinchak is following Morris and Hunter as the Guardians will be adding the recently acquired Lucas Giolito to their roster. Giolito is scheduled to make his team debut Monday against the Minnesota Twins.
Karinchak was better in his second go-around with the Guardians this season, allowing just one earned run on five hits while striking out eight in 6.1 innings in six games. There was one issue that cannot be ignored, walks. Karinchak walked four batters, and nearly one walk per inning is not a way to live as a pitcher, much less a reliever who would ideally be used in high-leverage situations. Before being sent down, Karinchak walked 19 batters in 27.2 innings.
For the Guardians, it is about putting together the best group of arms in their eyes that they believe they can count on when called upon. Karinchak has not done enough to show that he fits that description. There is a reason why the Guardians went out and claimed two relief pitchers in Moore and Lopez in addition to the above-mentioned Giolito.
Perhaps there could be a time down the line when Karinchak can regain his former form and become the high-leverage reliever he once was. But Cleveland cannot afford to take that chance, as they have a very small margin for error. There is a slim opportunity for Cleveland to make a significant dent in the Twins' division lead and possibly take the division title and make their way to the postseason, a proposition that seemed incredibly unlikely not that long ago.