Yankees’ bullpen arm lagging behind the rest with shoulder issue

MLB: Washington Nationals at New York Yankees

The New York Yankees‘ bullpen is in a good spot as we quickly approach the end of spring training and ramp up to the 2024 regular season. Aside from Lou Trivino and Scott Effross, who will likely return to the team over the summer, the latest injury is to Tommy Kahnle, who signed a two-year, $11.5 million deal in 2023.

Kahnle was a Yankee between 2018–2020 before spending a lone season with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2022. Last year for the Bombers, he tossed 40.2 innings, earning a 2.66 ERA, 10.62 strikeouts per nine, and 82.1% left on base rate and 49% ground ball rate.

Injury Concerns and Recovery

Kahnle has been a high ground ball pitcher over the past few seasons and he started his 2023 campaign looking sharp, but his numbers took a hit toward the end of the year due to a shoulder issue.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem as though they will be able to make any appearances during spring training, putting his availability for Opening Day in question.

“He probably won’t be in a game until more towards the end of spring,” Boone said.

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Yankees Managing Kahnle’s Return

The Yanks have plenty of depth to utilize in the bullpen if Kahnle needs more time to ramp up and go through his throwing program. There’s no rush to get him back early in the season since guaranteeing his health should be the priority.

Kahnle hasn’t pitched more than 41 innings since 2019, so it is fair to say that the Yankees will have to approach his situation with caution. Giving him as much time as he needs to rehabilitate from the shoulder injury is a necessity since Kahnle can be a very effective and high strike-out pitcher.

“We’ll see,” Boone said of Kahnle’s availability for Opening Day. “I think he’ll be ready, but it’s a matter of do we want him to have more games under his belt? That’s what we’re kind of deciding.”

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