Yankees preparing to get back $11.5 million bullpen arm in the near future

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 Yankees are set to receive some essential additions to their squad in the upcoming weeks, including the notable return of Tommy Kahnle.

Kahnle, who was signed to a two-year contract worth $11.5 million, commenced his rehab assignment yesterday with Single-A Tampa. His return to the bullpen will be highly appreciated, given that several players are currently underperforming, and Hamilton has been placed on the injury list. Kahnle’s upcoming games will mark his first pitching appearances for the team since the abbreviated 2020 season, where he managed only a single inning prior to his injury.

Tommy Kahnle needs to deliver for the Yankees

Kahnle, known for his vibrant clubhouse personality and seemingly boundless energy, is undoubtedly one of the team’s most dynamic players. His enthusiasm on the mound, coupled with his impressive performance when he’s in top form, make him a thrilling player to watch.

Despite managing to pitch only 12.2 innings last season – his first after recovering from his injury – health remains his primary concern. If the Yankees can benefit from a fully fit Kahnle, it would be a substantial victory for the team.

Featuring a robust fastball and breaking ball, Kahnle’s exceptional changeup serves as his primary weapon. Recognizing it as his superior pitch, he has increasingly incorporated it into his play.

It’s been inspiring to witness his evolution as a reliever, and the Yankees are hopeful of experiencing his best form yet. He was a force to be reckoned with in the 2017 season, when he arrived via the Robertson trade, achieving a 2.70 ERA, striking out 12.15 batters per nine innings, and allowing only a 3.7% HR/FB%.

The following season was a struggle, marked by inconsistencies and constant movement between the minors and majors.

However, he rebounded in 2019, posting a 12.91 K/9 and 3.67 ERA over 61.1 innings. Kahnle served as a reliable asset for the team then, and the expectation is that he will deliver a similar performance this time around. His presence in late-inning situations will be critical, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Kahnle swiftly ascends the bullpen hierarchy and earns significant opportunities.

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