Nate Karns

Nate Karns

36-Year-Old PitcherP
 Free Agent  
2024 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Nate Karns in 2024. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Signed a one-year, $800,000 contract with the Orioles in February of 2019. Released by the Orioles in August of 2019.
Cut loose by Orioles
PFree Agent  
August 7, 2019
Karns was released by the Orioles on Wednesday, Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports reports.
ANALYSIS
Karns will hit the open market after being designated for assignment in July and subsequently passing through waivers untouched. The veteran right-hander made four appearances with Baltimore earlier in the season -- allowing seven hits while posting a 5:3 K:BB across 5.1 scoreless innings -- before landing on the IL with a forearm strain.
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2017
2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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2017 MLB Game Log
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Nate Karns See More
The Z Files: Winning Tendencies, Part Four
May 16, 2020
Todd Zola continues his breakdown of last year's NFBC Main Event rosters and explains why he thinks Christian Yelich showed up on so few league-winning squads.
AL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
April 7, 2019
Erik Siegrist looks over the free-agent pool in the Junior Circuit and thinks Clint Frazier could be more than just a short-term solution for the Yankees.
Yahoo DFS Baseball: Saturday Picks
March 30, 2019
Sasha Yodashkin suggests saving money on hitting by selecting Teoscar Hernandez as a cheaper option versus the Tigers.
Weekly Pitcher Rankings: Mad Max Rules the Roost
March 27, 2019
Todd Zola is back with the first pitcher rankings of the season. No surprise, Washington's Max Scherzer is on top.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
Karns looked to be ready to go in spring training after thoracic outlet syndrome cost him most of his 2017 campaign, but the injury bug bit again, this time in the form of elbow inflammation, keeping him out the entire season. He'll enter this season as a 31-year-old who hasn't thrown a pitch in a competitive game in nearly two full years. The floor is obviously very low for Karns, and the ceiling isn't particularly high either, as he owns a mediocre 4.37 career ERA over parts of five seasons. He did at least show some promising peripherals (27.1 K%, 6.9 BB%) in eight starts back in 2017, so there's a chance that he winds up serving as a back-end starter. It's also possible, and perhaps more likely, that he's used in a relief role to protect his arm, especially given that he's had trouble going deep into games in the past.
Karns was acquired by the Royals last offseason following a disappointing, injury-plagued season with the Mariners. The journeyman earned a spot in the Kansas City starting rotation with a strong spring camp, but he struggled out of the gate, posting a 6.26 ERA during the first month of the season. Something clicked for Karns when the calendar turned to May, as the strikeouts starting pilling up and the righty ripped off four straight solid starts. Unfortunately the hot streak came to an end when Karns was placed on the disabled list with forearm tightness in late May, eventually leading to season-ending surgery to treat thoracic outlet syndrome. The 30-year-old is expected to be ready for 2018 season, but he'll need to prove his health and regain his form before he becomes worthy of mixed-league consideration again.
The Mariners traded for Karns last offseason with the hope that he could step into the rotation and improve his control to eat up more innings. Although he won a spot as a starter out of spring training, the uptick in control didn't come with it. Even during the first two months of the season when he held a solid 3.43 ERA and 1.30 WHIP, his BB/9 sat at 3.3; a slight improvement, but still rather unsightly. Things only went down from there, as he walked nearly six batters per nine innings over the next two months while his ERA climbed to 5.15, earning him a demotion to the bullpen. Things got worse, as his season came to an end abruptly in late July due to a back injury. Karns' strikeout ability was as good as advertised (9.6 K/9) and he showed flashes of excellence, but his inconsistency and lack of control could keep him from becoming a reliable starter in the big leagues. He'll compete for a rotation spot in Kansas City after a January trade to the Royals.
There were 90 pitchers with at least 26 starts like Karns and they averaged 203 batters faced the third time through the lineup. Karns’ 132 batters faced were the fewest of the group. The Rays knew the best deployment of Karns was two times through the lineup and then out (Erasmo Ramirez had the second-fewest). His .823 OPS the third time through was 69th among those 90 pitchers, way beyond the .744 average. The fastball is the culprit behind the fade, as that pitch allows an .801 OPS the first two times around the lineup which is below average (.751), but good enough for him to lean on his curveball and changeup (.498 OPS). The third time through the order, his fastball allows a 1.076 OPS, seventh-worst among those 90 pitchers. Perhaps Seattle has a fix for his issues the third time through the order? Or maybe it’s just who he is. He’s got enough to be a valuable arm for 180 innings even if he’s regularly a five or six-inning per start arm.
Karns has made five starts in his major league career. He has struck out 24 batters in 24 innings, but he has also walked 10 batter and given up eight homers in that time. Last season for Triple-A Durham, Karns struck out 153 in 145.1 innings while walking 62 batters and allowing 16 home runs. Karns is primarily a two-pitch pitcher whose best pitch is a hammer curveball. His command is inconsistent, but the potential is there for him to be an effective back-end starter. With the trade of Jeremy Hellickson, Karns has a chance to earn the last spot in the rotation that needs to be kept warm while Matt Moore works his way back. Karns will provide strikeouts, but the ratios are risky.
Karns put up an impressive strikeout rate at Double-A, but his control needs some work and he got hit hard in a brief major league trial while Dan Haren was on the DL. Other young pitchers appear to be ahead of him on the Nationals' depth chart, so if he continues to perform well at Triple-A this season, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him dealt to an organization with better opportunities for advancement.
Karns lost the first two seasons of his pro career to shoulder woes, but after getting his feet wet in rookie ball in 2011, he exploded onto the prospect scene last year with a 148:47 K:BB ratio in 116 innings between Low-A and High-A. He has a fastball that can creep up to 95 mph, a curve so sharp it gets mistaken for a slider every now and then, and the makings of a pretty good changeup, but his high-effort delivery and intermittent control could see him eventually ticketed for the bullpen in the majors. Having any kind of future at all is a huge step though, and given how hard he has had to work just to get where he is now it is clear Karns has the necessary drive to succeed. Further improvement would move him close to the top of the Nationals' pitching prospect lists.
More Fantasy News
Activated, DFA'd by Baltimore
PBaltimore Orioles  
July 26, 2019
Karns (forearm) was reinstated from the 60-day injured list and then designated for assignment Friday by the Orioles.
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Completes simulated game
PBaltimore Orioles  
Forearm
July 20, 2019
Karns (forearm) tossed a 20-pitch simulated game Saturday, Joe Trezza of MLB.com reports.
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Rehab moves to Double-A
PBaltimore Orioles  
Forearm
July 13, 2019
Karns' (forearm) rehab has moved to Double-A Bowie, Rich Dubroff of BaltimoreBaseball.com reports.
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Advances rehab to High-A
PBaltimore Orioles  
Forearm
July 12, 2019
Karns (forearm) will make a rehab appearance for High-A Frederick on Friday, Rich Dubroff of BaltimoreBaseball.com reports.
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Rehabbing in Gulf Coast League
PBaltimore Orioles  
Forearm
July 2, 2019
Karns (forearm) began a minor-league rehab assignment last week with the Orioles' rookie-level Gulf Coast League affiliate, appearing in three games and giving up one run on one hit and three walks over 2.1 innings.
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