3. James Karinchak
Let me start off by saying I don't expect James Karinchak to be around in 2024. But he had an opportunity this year to grow into one of our most valuable relievers and earn himself a huge role for next season.
He's squandered that chance though, and if anything he's probably made it an uphill battle to avoid seeing his role shrink.
There's a reason that he's down in Triple-A right now.
A 3.90 ERA looks absolutely fine on the surface, but the team's not making decisions based on ERA. They're taking a much closer look at how he's actually pitching, and what they're seeing is not promising.
Karinchak is having serious control issues, hitting the zone at a career-low 33.9% rate. These issues have translated to a career-low swinging-strike rate (11.2%) while giving up contact on a career-high 72.1% of swings. That rate jumps to (also a career-worst) 82.8% on pitches in the zone. Control issues are letting hitters wait for favourable spots, and they’re punishing him for it.
He's not exactly dazzling the way you'd expect at the Triple-A level either, and that's the kind of red flag that can absolutely carry over into next season.