On September 12th, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reported that the Cleveland Indians would be calling up RHP James Karinchak from Triple-A Columbus. In his first outing, he would go 1⅓ Innings striking out 3 without allowing a walk or a hit. Karinchak, who is currently 23, pitched at Bryant University from 2015-2017. In his three seasons of collegiate play, Karinchak would go 26-11 with a career ERA of 2.83. This level of performance would lead to
Karinchak’s eventual selection in the 2017 MLB Draft. After two seasons of working his way through the minor league ranks, he would shine his brightest in 2019. Through 30.1 innings of work, he would retire 81% of the batters he faced via strikeout.
“It’s fun playing the best in the game,” said Karinchak. “(It) just makes you have to be on the top of your game every time out”.
Karinchak got the news of his promotion when Columbus Clippers’ manager, Tony Mansolino called him into his office. From there he called his friends and family to give them the good news.
“My dad was really excited,” said Karinchak in a Cleveland.com interview. With friends and family coming all the way from New York to see his first big league action, I asked James which debut was more nerve-racking college or pro. He responded, “Probably college. First time pitching for Bryant it was a close game, first game in the MLB, we were losing by a decent amount”.
Finally, I asked what are some things you learned playing and attending a school like Bryant? He replied, “It taught me that you just have to believe in yourself no matter the odds.” He also mentioned that he had an “amazing coaching staff” and he a lot of gratitude to former Bryant Head Coach, Steve Owens, and Assistant Coach Ryan Fecteau, explaining that “They were guys with chips on their shoulders as well”. Bryant University strives for greatness in numerous fields and the debut of Karinchak has helped to solidify the school’s drive for both athletic and academic excellence.