Guardians rookie Oscar Gonzalez to be shut down for 7-10 days; James Karinchak optioned to AAA

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Cleveland Guardians' Oscar Gonzalez bats against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Nick Cammett)
Cleveland Guardians' Oscar Gonzalez bats against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Nick Cammett)

Oscar Gonzalez has offered the Guardians lineup a boost since his major league debut a little more than a month ago, but Cleveland will be without the rookie right fielder for at least the next week.

Prior to the first game of Saturday's doubleheader against the New York Yankees, Gonzalez was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right intercostal (muscle that runs between the rib cage) strain.

Manager Terry Francona noted that Gonzalez will be shut down for 7-to-10 days, but the team doesn't believe the injury will sideline him much longer after that. In 32 games, Gonzalez has hit .285 with a .746 OPS, two home runs, 12 doubles and 14 RBIs. He's also one of three outfielders with multiple assists on throws of at least 96 mph.

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Francona relayed that Gonzalez isn't quite sure exactly when the injury happened. It might have stemmed from a collision with a wall recently.

"He doesn't remember. The first time he noticed it was when he came into the training room. Remember he hit the wall a little bit on a foul ball back a few days ago? He kind of banged his toe," Francona said. "He was in there getting treatment on his toe. And then when he was in there, he kind of said 'Man, I feel... ' That was the first time he brought it up."

In his place, infielder Gabriel Arias was recalled from Triple-A Columbus. Arias, ranked as the No. 3 prospect in the Guardians system by MLB Pipeline, appeared in two games with Cleveland earlier this season, going 1-for-8 with two runs scored.

Francona alluded to the Guardians roster being "fluid" over the next several days. Austin Hedges, who was placed on the 7-day concussion injured list, could be returning soon, among other potential shuffling with the active roster over the next few days.

Kirk McCarty was called up as the 27th man for Saturday's doubleheader with the Yankees to pitch the first game.

Columbus Clippers pitcher James Karinchak (28) pitches against the Louisville Bats during Wednesday night’s minor league game at Huntington Field in Columbus, Ohio, on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021.
Columbus Clippers pitcher James Karinchak (28) pitches against the Louisville Bats during Wednesday night’s minor league game at Huntington Field in Columbus, Ohio, on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021.

James Karinchak activated from injured list, optioned to Triple-A

James Karinchak's rehab assignment is completed, but he won't be heading to the major leagues just yet.

Karinchak was activated off the 60-day injured list and optioned to Triple-A Columbus on Saturday. To make room on the 40-man roster, pitcher Tobias Myers was designated for assignment.

Karinchak has missed the first few months of the season with a teres major muscle strain in his shoulder. His last few relief appearances during his rehab assignment showed some positive progress, but the team wasn't ready to reinstate him just yet, especially with two doubleheaders in three days on the schedule.

"[General manager Mike Chernoff] kind of mentioned to him that some of the stuff is out of your control. Some of it is in your control," Francona said. "And it's hard for young guys to understand, like we have three doubleheaders in six days and we don't want to bring a guy up for two days and send him back. ... But it's hard for them to understand it in the moment. We try to understand that and just be as honest as we can. But we told him we'd like to see more of what we've been seeing the last couple and be more consistent. That would really help."

Karinchak was a relief ace in the first half of last season (2.52 ERA, 68 strikeouts in 39 1/3 innings) but was nearly unpitchable in the second half (7.88 ERA, 10 strikeouts in 16 innings) and was eventually sent down to Triple-A.

Ryan Lewis can be reached at rlewis@thebeaconjournal.com. Read more about the Guardians at www.beaconjournal.com/sports/cleveland-guardians. Follow him on Twitter at @ByRyanLewis.

This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Oscar Gonzalez placed on injured list, James Karinchak optioned to AAA