CLEVELAND, Ohio – Reliever James Karinchak had his injured right shoulder examined late last week and has moved on to strengthening the area with weighted baseball work. Guardians manager Terry Francona said Sunday the club will wait until Karinchak advances to playing catch before putting together a throwing progression for the 26-year-old righty who first experienced discomfort two weeks ago.
Positive energy: “The good news is he’s tolerating it. He feels great, so that’s good, ”Francona said.
What’s next: Karinchak’s setup role will likely go to veteran Bryan Shaw in the early part of the season with Trevor Stephan, Anthony Gose and Nick Sandlin ready to pitch in leverage situations ahead of Shaw.
Out of sight, out of mind
Francona told reporters he bumped into Gose in the cafeteria at the mentioned Goodyear, Ariz. training facility this week and was surprised at the reply when asked how the 31-year-old lefty’s day was going.
- “I’m just trying to hide,” Gose responded.
The next day, Francona offered some encouragement to the mild-mannered reliever, reassuring Gose that he had no reason to be bashful. The Guardians are counting on him to get big outs this season.
- “You do not have to hide from anybody,” Francona said. “You’re going to help us.”
The bottom line: Gose has no reason to be shy in the midst of an outstanding spring, allowing a run on two hits in four innings with three strikeouts and three walks. He’s limited opposing hitters to a .154 average.
Lavastida looking to build chemistry
Bryan Lavastida’s surprise arrival on the Guardians opening day roster has the 23-year-old catcher checking a lot of boxes on his to-do list.
- “We have a little checklist, ” Lavastida said. “I’ve caught everybody in bullpens and some in games. I haven’t caught Shaw, that’s kind of what I’m most excited about. “
The big picture: Ernie Clement was among the first Guardians players to congratulate Lavastida after making the team. Clement logged just 121 at-bats in 40 games himself as a rookie last year, and Lavastida is going to lean on the infielder utility to get comfortable in his first tour with the big league club.
Ready for prime time: Lavastida said watching video breakdowns of reliever Emmanuel Clase’s “ridiculous 102mph cutters” on Instagram and YouTube posts from accounts such as Pitching Ninja got him excited to catch his teammate.
- “I was like, wow, how is Hedgey back there making it look easy?” Lavastida said. “I caught him the other day and it’s like, you know, this could end up being on the video and I’m catching these 102 cutters as well. That was fun. ”
Inside the number: Guardians clubhouse manager Tony Amato was the first to tell Lavastida he had made the opening day roster. When Amato asked what Jersey number Lavastida wanted to wear, he settled on No. 10.
- “I’m a big fan of the number 1, but (Amed) Rosario’s got 1,” Lavastida Said. “I’ve always had a 1 in my number. So, 10′s going to be different. ”
Championship experience boosts Pilkington
Konnor Pilkington joined Double-A Akron from the White Sox organization at the trade deadline last year, just in time to make an Eastern Division title run with the RubberDucks. The experience carried over into training camp and helped the 6-foot-3 lefty make his first opening day roster.
He went 3-2 in eight starts after joining Akron with 49 strikeouts in 38 2/3 innings with 18 walks and a 2.33 ERA. In November, Cleveland added him to the 40-man roster.
- “The vibe that was just there (in Akron) within our team, the coaches, the staff, everybody just wanted to win,” Pilkington said. “When I ended up getting put on the 40-man roster, that was an eye-opener. I was knocking on the door and I had the door opened for me. ”
Power profile: Expect Pilkington to work at the top of the strike zone with his fastball, which he described as having “a good bit of vertical ride to it.”
- “It’s a little bit harder for them to square the ball up,” Pilkington said. “Then I have a slider and curveball to come off of it as well. But I’m pretty much just pounding the zone and being able to throw my off-speed in there for strikes. ”
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