A time to shine for Tommy Kahnle
This is one of the more difficult New York Yankees profiles I have written, mostly because of all the Yankees Tommy is the most private about his childhood and family. Tommy was born on August 7, 1989, in Latham, New York. The 30-year-old did play baseball in his childhood. In high school, he caught and pitched for Shaker High School in Latham. After high school Tommy (Thomas Robert) attended Lynn University in Florida. While there at age eighteen, he won the 2007 division two World Series for them and was named MVP for the series.
While at Lynn, he was certainly good enough to draw the attention of Yankee scouts. The Yankees drafted him in the fifth round of the 2010 draft. The Yankees sent him to the Staten Island Yankees, where in 2010, he was in eleven games with a .056 ERA with 25 strikeouts in sixteen innings pitched. In 2011 they sent him to the River Dogs in Charleston, where he continued to show his pitching promise. In 2012 he played for Tampa and the Trenton Thunder. He had an ERA between the two teams of 2.37.
In 2013 Tommy Kahnle was invited to spring training in Tampa, he did not make the team, but was a 2013 Eastern League All-Star with a 2.85 ERA in 60 innings. The Yankees failed to protect Kahnle and he was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 2013 rule 5 draft. He made the opening day roster with the Rockies. He appeared in 54 games with an ERA of 4.19. At the end of the 2015 season, the Rockies designated him for assignment. He was traded to the Chicago White Sox. In two seasons, he appeared in only 29 games but pitched to a 2.63 ERA. In 2017 he was having a career year posting a 2.50 ERA while striking out 60 batters in just 39 innings. The Sox realizing his value used him in a trade along with Todd Frazier and David Robertson to the Yankees for four players.
In July of 2017, Kahnle was ejected from a game for throwing behind Miguel Cabrara of the Tigers. Joe Girardi ended up getting thrown out as well, as a giant bench-clearing brawl broke out. Kahnle was sent down to Scranton Wilkes/Barre. He was called back up and on August 21 and recorded his first save replacing Aroldis Chapman in the 12th inning. In July of last year, Kahnle was awarded reliever of the month in the AL. Last season he was 3-2 with an ERA of 3.84 in 72 games. Kahnle has been one of our most dependable relievers. He is a ferocious competitor and has contributed much to the New York Yankees success this past season.
Most of Tommy’s personal life is undercover, but we do know he works out regularly in his out workout studio. He is married to Veronica Kahnle. They were married in January 2017, and they have made the decision to put off having children at this time. I researched and found that they have a home together in the Albany New York area just a short distance from his birthplace. I managed to get a photo from their wedding photographer that is not shown in this article.
Kahnle prepares for the 2020 baseball season
Recently Tommy Kahnle was featured in games in the “MLB The Show,” he blew a great opportunity to bring himself and the New York Yankees into the playoffs in the graphically correct fantasy games. In reality, Kahnle has been preparing for the 2020 shortened season. In 2019 he made an improvement to his play but still fell short of his 2017 stats as he tended to tire late in the season with all the injuries. This shortened season may solve that.
In the shortened Yankee spring training, Kahnle didn’t get a lot of innings in, in fact only nine innings as the Yankees tried to evaluate the up and coming Yankee pitchers, Dievi Garcia, Clarke Schmidt, and Micheal King. In his nine innings, he was 0-1 in nine games with an ERA of 7.45.
Kahnle’s strikeout rate was the highest of his career last year. During the postseason after a short break he has been doing his best to prepare for the upcoming season when it finally starts. He recently said:
“I’ve been basically hanging out trying to survive these times you know, it’s crazy. Basically if it nice outside I’ll go to a local field where I used to play high school baseball. As far as workouts, my studio is closed so I can go in there privately and workout by myself and that’s what I have going for me right now.”
Kahnle told ABC Sports that he personally really misses the competition of baseball and wants to play. With his on-field play and workouts and good nutrition, he has reduced 25 pounds from his ballooned 254 pounds at the end of the last season. As the New York Yankees await the start of the season they hope Tommy can return to his 2017 form.
EmpireSportsMedia.com’s Columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research.