GOODYEAR, Ariz — Guardians reliever James Karinchak could miss the start of the regular season with a shoulder strain suffered earlier this week in camp.
One of Cleveland's top bullpen arms, Karinchak underwent an MRI on Thursday that revealed a mild strain in his right teres major muscle. The team said Karinchak has already shown improvement, but won't throw for up to 10 days before being re-evaluated.
The Guardians open the season on April 7 in Kansas City.
The hard-throwing Karinchak, who also has a devastating curveball, went 7-4 with a 4.07 ERA and 11 saves last season. Manager Terry Francona has used Karinchak in a set-up role and as a closer.
Karinchak has pitched in 92 games over the past three seasons with Cleveland. Following a hot start to 2021, a rough stretch saw him sent to Triple-A Columbus for a short time.
Also, Guardians backup catcher Luke Maile could be out for a month with a strained hamstring. Maile got hurt while running the bases in an exhibition game this week.
Maile spent last season with Milwaukee. The 31-year-old has also been with Toronto and Tampa Bay. He signed a one-year deal as a free agent with Cleveland on March 14.
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