Yankees injury latest: Slow progress stalls Tommy Kahnle’s comeback timeline

Reliever Tommy Kahnle is with his teammates at the Yankees' spring camp in February 2024.

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The road back to the New York Yankees’ bullpen has encountered another obstacle for Tommy Kahnle. The reliever, who was already placed on the 15-day injured list due to a delayed start to his offseason throwing program caused by a lingering shoulder issue, has suffered a setback in his recovery process.

Following a live batting practice session last week, manager Aaron Boone revealed on Monday that Tommy Kahnle’s progress has stalled, forcing him to slow down his rehabilitation. While Boone confirmed that Kahnle has resumed throwing, the extent of the delay caused by this latest setback remains uncertain.

This development throws a wrench into the Yankees’ initial timeline for Tommy Kahnle’s return. Previously, they had anticipated his return for the series against the Cleveland Guardians between April 12-14. However, they will now need to revise their plans accordingly.

Tommy Kahnle was expected to make several rehabilitation appearances before rejoining the major league roster. However, as of Monday, there has been no update on a potential return date or the start of his rehab assignment.

Despite the setback for Tommy Kahnle, and the absences of relievers Scott Effross and Lou Trivino (both on the 60-day injured list), the Yankees’ bullpen delivered a strong performance. They tossed a combined 15 ¹/₃ scoreless innings during the season-opening series against the formidable Houston Astros. This robust showing offers some solace amidst the news of Kahnle’s delayed recovery.

Can Jack Cousins provide cover for Tommy Kahnle’s absence?

Yankees acquired Jake Cousins from Milwaukee Brewers
AP

The New York Yankees made a move to bolster their bullpen depth on Monday, acquiring right-handed reliever Jake Cousins via a trade with the Chicago White Sox, where Cousins was initially a minor league signee this offseason.

Cousins, who is the cousin of Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, reported to the Yankees on Monday after the trade was finalized for cash considerations. The 29-year-old reliever had participated in Spring Training with the White Sox but began the season assigned to their Triple-A affiliate. The Yankees, seeing an opportunity to strengthen their bullpen, acted swiftly to acquire him.

Manager Aaron Boone expressed his excitement about the addition, stating, “Our guys are really excited about him.” Boone elaborated, highlighting how scouts, the front office, and analysts all see untapped potential in Cousins, and the Yankees are eager to develop his skills further.

Cousins’ pitching repertoire aligns well with the type of arm the Yankees have traditionally favored. He relies heavily on a potent combination of a slider and a sinker, pitches often utilized by successful Yankees relievers in the past.

While his major league experience is limited to 51 appearances across three seasons, he boasts a respectable career ERA of 3.08. Additionally, Cousins possesses one remaining minor league option, offering the Yankees valuable flexibility in managing their roster.

To make room for Cousins on both the active 26-man and the expanded 40-man rosters, the Yankees designated left-hander Tanner Tully for assignment. This move signifies the Yankees’ commitment to building a formidable bullpen as they aim for a successful season.

Yankees announce Minor League rosters

Juan Soto, player of the new york yankees
AP

The New York Yankees unveiled their minor league affiliate rosters on Monday, with the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre roster having been previously disclosed since their season had already commenced.

Several notable assignments were made to various levels: Double-A Somerset welcomed top prospect OF Spencer Jones, along with LHP Brock Selvidge and C Ben Rice. High-A Hudson Valley saw the addition of LHP Kyle Carr and 2B Roc Riggio. Single-A Tampa included SS George Lombard Jr. and SS Roderick Arias on its roster.

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