Yankees’ bullpen arm ‘not bouncing back’ from live sessions, pushing return date further out

MLB: Washington Nationals at New York Yankees
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees‘ bullpen has been electric to open the 2024 season, supporting them in their 5–0 start. The Yankees took down the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday evening to start the second series of the year, supported heavily by their relief pitching after Luis Gisl ended his stellar outing.

However, despite the bullpen stepping up and looking fantastic, the Yankees are still waiting for several relief arms to return from injury. Scott Effross and Lou Trivino should make recoveries and returns over the summer around the trade deadline, essentially acting as two new acquisitions. The team is also waiting for Tommy Kahnle to bounce back from a shoulder injury that has slowed him down.

General manager Brian Cashman signed Kahnle to a two-year, $11.5 million deal last off-season, but the 34-year-old has dealt with injury over the course of his career but did manage to pitch 40.2 innings last season with a 2.66 ERA. Kahnle was solid, and the Yankees still view him as an impact piece once he finds a way to get back to full health.

The Yankees Still View Kahnle as an Impact Piece

Unfortunately, manager Aaron Boone stated that Kahnle’s throwing program had been slowed down a bit after he struggled to recover from his last live session.

The Yanks rarely pay out to relief arms, and Kahnle was an exception, given his character and energy. He also represents a high strikeout arm, collecting 10.62 per nine last season and 11. 04 in his career. It is always a luxury to have a bullpen arm with those qualities, and Kahnle certainly presents the Yankees with an asset late in games. Still, for now, they will have to supplement with players like Nick Nurdi and Victor Gonzalez, who got the job done on Monday against Arizona.

Nonetheless, I wouldn’t expect to see Kahnle for the next few weeks as he continues his throwing program and looks to bounce back, but the Yankees have plenty of talent to survive in the meantime, and their off-offense has done a great job picking up the slack.

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