Tommy Kahnle returning soon, bringing a new pitch with him

Michael Bennington
Wednesday May 31, 2023

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Tommy Kahnle‘s most recent attempt to get his career back on track has been an interesting mix of a personal trip and a scientific experiment. During the process, he has done rehab runs with teams at different levels of the minor leagues, starting with Single-A Tampa, moving on to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and now being with Double-A Somerset. Each stop has been a different lab that has helped Tommy Kahnle get better and judge how well he is doing.

When Tommy Kahnle eventually makes his comeback to the Yankees bullpen, his goal is to establish a new sinker as a dominant pitch, much like his already effective changeup. As he looks ahead, Tommy Kahnle aims to further refine his repertoire and elevate his sinker to the level of his standout changeup. He has been very pleased with how well his new sinker has fit into his throwing rotation.

Tommy Kahnle’s rehab assignment was moved to Double-A Somerset on Tuesday. This was because of tendinitis in his right shoulder. Josh Donaldson (strained right hamstring) and Giancarlo Stanton (strained left hamstring) also joined him. Stanton had already started training with the Patriots. The three people got back together as they continued to get better.

In the seventh inning, the right-handed pitcher took the mound, giving up one run and allowing a double and two walks. Out of his 17 pitches, only seven found the strike zone.

Tommy Kahnle expressed his hope to join the Yankees for their series in Los Angeles following his rehab assignment. Yankees manager Aaron Boone confirmed this plan to reporters in Seattle, indicating that Kahnle’s return coinciding with the series is the intended course of action.

Boone stated that they should focus on the present day and assess the situation to determine the next steps.

Even though he’s had a hard time for almost three years, including Tommy John surgery, missing the whole 2021 season, being out for four months because of a bone bruise in 2022, and then getting biceps tendinitis in March, Tommy Kahnle is still sure he can get back to being a good relief pitcher. He hopes to add a useful arm to the Yankees’ bullpen, which has shown this season that it is one of the best in all of Major League Baseball.

Tommy Kahnle expressed his satisfaction on Tuesday after a pregame throwing session, stating that it is truly fulfilling to complete the rehabilitation process, rejoin the team, and actively contribute instead of being sidelined on the training table for an extended period.

Baseball Savant data from 2022 reveals that during his 16 appearances with the Dodgers, Tommy Kahnle predominantly relied on his changeup, accounting for approximately 77 percent of his pitch selection, while his fastball constituted the remaining 23 percent of his repertoire.

By incorporating the sinker into his arsenal, Tommy Kahnle aimed to provide a distinct variation to his fastball, ensuring a diverse and unique look that could compensate for any potential decline in velocity.

Shortly after Tommy Kahnle signed a two-year deal with the Yankees, the team that drafted him in 2010 and traded for him in 2017, the excitement died down. Before he could throw in a Grapefruit League game, he got biceps tendinitis, which was a quick way to feel down.

Because of his injury, Tommy Kahnle was put on the 60-day injured list. This gave him a chance to slowly get better and made sure that nothing was rushed. Because he had been injured before, this cautious method was taken to keep him from being injured again.

Four weeks after his bout of tendinitis in March, Tommy Kahnle achieved the milestone of throwing without pain.

During his comeback assignment, Tommy Kahnle has done a great job. Before his game on Tuesday, he threw four innings without allowing a run. He has only given up one hit in his four starts with Tampa and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, which shows he has great control and is a good pitcher.

Once Tommy Kahnle makes his return, he will have the opportunity to showcase a new pitch that he has added to his repertoire.

Tommy Kahnle reflected on his performance last year, acknowledging that despite a limited sample size, he felt a sense of returning to form. While the velocity may not have matched his past performances, he expressed the exhilaration of being able to pitch effectively and close out games. He expressed happiness in witnessing his own progress and the ability to contribute from the mound.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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