Having lost several bullpen arms this off-season, the New York Yankees still need to allocate a bit of attention toward bolstering that specific unit. Adding Carlos Rodon to the starting rotation undoubtedly gives them one of the best in baseball, but simply signing Tommy Kahnle to a two-year deal isn’t enough to smooth over their bullpen losses.
At 33 years old, Kahnle only pitch 12.2 innings this past season for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but he has good enough stuff to justify a return at about $6M per season. The Bombers loved him when he featured during 2018-2020, so a reunion was always possible.
- Yankees still have a big starting pitching decision to figure out
- Yankees can still land top remaining free-agent left-fielder if asking price comes down
- Yankees settle with Gleyber Torres on one-year deal, avoiding arbitration
The Yankees are slowly building out the bullpen:
Nonetheless, the Yankees are slowly adding pieces to build out their bullpen, whether it be on Major League or Minor League deals. This week, they retained frisbee-throwing right-handed pitcher Ryan Weber, who made five appearances for the Bombers in 2022.
Tossing 10.2 innings, Weber hosted a 0.84 ERA, 2.53 strikeouts per nine, and a 100% left-on-base rate. He was solid over a small sample size, but he fills more of a supplemental role in case of injury than a reliable arm the Yankees can use on a daily basis.
Weber features a sinker, slider, and change-up in his arsenal. His sinker is thrown at 55.9%, according to his 2022 metrics. He clocks in an 89 mph and generated a .214 batting average against, including six hits and one home run allowed. He produces some unbelievable break on his pitches, with his sinker generating a 13% above-average vertical drop and 31% more horizontal movement with his slider, which he throws at 78.8 mph.
As you can see, he doesn’t rely on high velocity to get the job done but rather incredible movement with decent location. There’s not much left to extract at 32 years old, but if the Yankees desperately need an arm that can eat a few innings, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get some opportunities in 2023.