Yankees close to getting $11.5 million bullpen investment back from injury

New York Yankees, Tommy Kahnle
Feb 17, 2023; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Tommy Kahnle (41) throws during spring training workouts at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have commendably maintained a top-five bullpen in baseball this year, boasting a 3.18 ERA and securing 11 saves.

Relying heavily on Michael King, Ian Hamilton, Wandy Peralta, and even Ron Marinaccio, the Yankees have managed to suppress their opponents despite subpar starting pitching in the past few weeks.

Fortunately, the Yanks anticipate the return of several vital arms this season, notably Jonathan Loáisiga and, more imminently, Tommy Kahnle.

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The Yankees need to get some value out of Tommy Kahnle:

General Manager Brian Cashman re-signed Kahnle to a two-year, $11.5 million contract, a significant investment for a player with an injury history who has only pitched 12.2 innings over the past two years.

Once again, Cashman placed faith in an unpredictable player, resulting in no return for the financial outlay. However, Kahnle is diligently recovering from biceps tendinitis, an injury he’s suffered from in the past.

The expectation is that Kahnle will commence his rehab assignment with Single-A Tampa, gradually work his way up through the farm system, and eventually arrive at Triple-A Scranton before being activated from the injured list.

The Yankees anticipate him pitching in at least four rehab games before potentially returning, thus adding another key relief pitcher to the roster.

Considering the strain on the bullpen due to the starters’ lack of endurance, the Yankees are in desperate need of reinforcement.

Kahnle last pitched over 50 innings back in 2019 with the Bombers. Enjoying 61.1 innings pitched, Kahnle hosted a 3.67 ERA, 2.69 xFIP, 12.91 strikeouts per nine, and a 50.4% ground ball rate.

The 33-year-old bullpen arm has had trouble giving up homers in the past, but he’s a high strikeout pitcher the Yankees can depend on moving forward.

The hope is that the Yankees get back Kahnle and Loáisiga to boost the bullpen while also adding Severino and Rodon to the starting rotation. That would round out a rather stellar pitching corps, but dealing with injuries in the meantime has undoubtedly been a difficult challenge.