Saturday, February 23, 2019

Meet the 2019 Yankees: Tommy Kahnle

The New York Yankees have an amazing bullpen on paper, but could you imagine just how good this bullpen could be if the team were to get back a healthy and effective Tommy Kahnle here in 2019? It’s already borderline unfair for the rest of the league as is, but with Kahnle mowing down batters like he did in 2017… well that’s just filthy. Let’s meet the man that has a lot to prove, but the man that could be a key piece for the New York Yankees this season.

Tommy Kahnle, 29-years old, is a right-handed relief pitcher that was originally drafted by the Yankees, only to see him selected in the Rule 5 Draft. Fate, and a well-timed July acquisition, brought Kahnle back to the Bronx to show off his 95 MPH four-seam fastball, 89 MPH changeup, and 83 MPH slider. Kahnle strikes out a lot of guys when he is effective and generates a ton of swings and misses, although last season the right-hander struggled a lot with his command and control, as well as various injuries.

Tommy Kahnle was born on August 7, 1989 in Latham, New York where he attended Shaker High School. After High School, Kahnle attended Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida where he caught the attention of the New York Yankees who drafted the right-hander in the fifth round of the 2010 MLB First Year Players Draft. Kahnle pitched well in his professional debut with the Staten Island Yankees and earned a promotion to the Charleston Riverdogs for the 2011 season. Kahnle continued his climb through the Yankees system in 2012, reaching Double-A with the Trenton Thunder, and earned an invitation to Yankees spring training camp in 2013. Kahnle was an Eastern League All-Star in 2013 and finished the season with a 2.85 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 60 innings pitched.

The Yankees chose to leave Kahnle unprotected and off of the team’s 40-man roster before the 2014 season and the Colorado Rockies selected him in the Rule 5 Draft. The Rockies stashed Kahnle on their Opening Day roster and allowed him to appear in 54 games and 68+ innings, posting a 4.19 ERA as a rookie. Kahnle spent almost half the season in Triple-A in 2015 and was designated for assignment following the 2015 campaign. The Rockies traded Kahnle to the Chicago White Sox for Yency Almonte on November 24, 2014.

Kahnle rejuvenated his career while with Chicago posting a 2.63 ERA in 2016, although pitching in just 29 games, before truly breaking out in 2017 with the White Sox. Through the first half of the 2017 season, Kahnle posted a 2.50 ERA while striking out 60 batters in just 36 innings of work, while also lowering his overall walk total as well. This led Chicago to sell-high on Kahnle, sending him along with David Robertson and Todd Frazier to the New York Yankees for Blake Rutherford, Tyler Clippard, Ian Clarkin and Tito Polo.

Kahnle was lights out for the Yankees for the remainder of the 2017 season but was up-and-down for the New York for much of the 2018 campaign. Kahnle battled through injuries and inconsistencies as well as trips to-and-from Triple-A. Kahnle will look to be much better for New York in 2019 while sticking with the big-league club as much as possible.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)