Yankees veteran takes first step in comeback trail

Nick Burdi, player of the new york yankees
Amanda Paula
Wednesday May 8, 2024

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The New York Yankees have showcased the premier bullpen in baseball thus far, defying the challenges posed by a slew of injuries. However, the prospect of reinforcements looms on the horizon, potentially elevating this already formidable group to even greater heights. Nick Burdi’s recent outing with the Scranton RailRiders marked his second step in the rehabilitation process, hinting at a return to the Yankees’ bullpen fold. Moreover, another pivotal reliever, Tommy Kahnle, is poised to kickstart his own journey back to full strength, commencing his rehab assignment with the Tampa Tarpons.

Trail begins

Tommy Kahnle, a player for the New York Yankees, is throwing a ball.
Sports Illustrated

Tommy Kahnle, a linchpin of last season’s bullpen prowess, proved instrumental with his impressive 2.66 ERA over 40.2 innings, amassing 48 strikeouts and securing two saves. Despite grappling with injuries at the onset of both the 2023 and current seasons, Kahnle’s presence on the mound has consistently translated into value for the Yankees. The bullpen’s depth has mitigated his absence, particularly evident in their current status boasting the best bullpen ERA (2.22) and Win Probability Added (3.54) across the league, despite the injury setbacks.

The Yankees have adeptly navigated their bullpen challenges, relying on a patchwork assembly of relievers, many with limited Major League experience or success. However, amidst this mix, gems like Luke Weaver and Dennis Santana have emerged, underscoring the organization’s knack for unearthing talent. With Oswald Peraza, who showcased his prowess with a home run in his initial rehab game, also in the mix with the Single-A affiliate in Tampa, the Yankees stand poised to regain a formidable bullpen asset in the near future.

Should Kahnle replicate his previous season’s form, the Yankees could reap substantial dividends from his return. His lethal combination of fastball and changeup has the potential to significantly bolster the team’s bullpen strength, which currently stands as their primary asset. Clay Holmes’ stellar performance adds further solidity, potentially fortifying the bullpen’s status as the league’s best with the impending return of Kahnle and other reinforcements.

In essence, the Yankees’ bullpen, despite enduring injuries, remains a force to be reckoned with. As key pieces like Kahnle embark on the road to recovery, the team’s prospects for bullpen dominance only appear to be strengthening, setting the stage for a formidable display of pitching prowess in the games to come.

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