Tribe Notes – Karinchak joins Indians, plus injury updates on Ramírez and Kluber

James Karinchak joined the Indians on Friday

James Rapien
September 13, 2019 - 5:45 pm

CLEVELAND, OH – The Indians promoted James Karinchak from Triple-A Columbus on Friday. The 23-year-old flamethrower has 82 strikeouts in 33⅔ innings this season (including Triple-A postseason). He’s posted a 2.41 ERA and is averaging 21.9 strikeouts per nine innings. 

“He really competes really well, like he’s not going to back down from anybody,” manager Terry Francona said. “He’s striking everybody out. How’s it going to play here [big leagues]? There’s one way to find out. But the experience, again, at worst will be really good for him.”

Karinchak was a man of few words in the Indians’ dugout prior to Friday’s game against the Twins.

“I’m just trying to get outs and trying to execute pitches,” he said. “If I execute pitches they usually don’t hit them.”

Karinchak has been dominant this season in the minor leagues. He struggled a bit after he returned from a hamstring injury, but didn’t allow a run in his last seven regular season outings for the Clippers.

The youngster was straightforward when asked about the pressure of joining a playoff race.

“You got to get outs wherever you go. Here, Lake County or Columbus, it doesn’t matter.”

Injury Updates

José Ramírez fielded ground balls and played catch on Friday. The two-time All-Star had surgery to repair a broken hamate bone in his right hand on August 25.

This kid is trying his ass off,” Francona said. “He’s pushing. That’s another step for him, which is good.”

Ramírez can grip a bat, but hasn’t started to swing yet. He’s expected to miss the rest of the regular season with the injury, but could return if the Indians make a playoff run.

Corey Kluber played catch at 60-feet for the first time since suffering an internal oblique strain on August 20.  

“That was his first day. We’ll obviously see how he shows up tomorrow,” Francona said. “He would repeat that if he feels good. Again, that’s a long way from pitching, but it’s a very good step.”

Other Notes

The Indians also recalled outfielder Bradley Zimmer on Friday, who is expected to come off the bench for the Tribe. Zimmer is back after having shoulder surgery last July.

The Indians designated Josh Smith for assignment to make room for Karinchak on the 40-man roster.

Tyler Naquin underwent right knee reconstruction to repair a torn ACL and lateral meniscus. He will be out for 7-to-9 months.