2018 Pinstripe Preview: Tommy Kahnle
As the hidden gem of the trade deadline move with the White Sox, Tommy Kahnle is quietly becoming one of the best relievers in baseball. Throwing a fastball that tops out at 98 and filthy secondary pitches in his changeup and slider, Kahnle is as good as any when he’s on.
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Quietly developing into one of the best relievers in the game, Kahnle spent the second half of the season on the third team of his career, as he’s previously been with the Rockies and White Sox. His motor was obvious from the start and that fire on the mound was much needed out of the bullpen. His numbers, mainly strikeouts, slightly went down in virtually every category after moving from Chicago to New York, but Kahnle was still very effective when called upon.
With the closer and set up roles already locked up barring injury in Aroldis Chapman and David Robertson, Kahnle will be competing for that seventh inning role out of the bullpen. Betances is an unlikely source considering the way his 2017 second half went and Adam Warren is more of a long reliever for the Yanks. Kahnle’s only realistic competitor for now is Chad Green, who broke out for a phenomenal 2017 season that saw him become one of the game’s best. Green is expected to come into spring training as a starter, but this seems pointless considering the Yankees already have five set starters, the same five from last season. Unless the Yankees are planning on running out a six-man rotation to limit the workload of youngsters Luis Severino and Jordan Montgomery as well as injury-prone Masahiro Tanaka and aging CC Sabathia, Green should certainly stay in the bullpen. In this case, the best guess would be to keep Green in that seventh inning role. If that were the case, Kahnle is a ridiculously good fourth option.
Kahnle is a tremendous option to have out of the bullpen that is locked up for another two years. Likely not have even reached his ceiling yet, his potential is very high. His contributions should help make this bullpen the best and deepest in the league.
Article by: Spencer SchultzFollow @spenceschultz63 Follow @BronxBomberBall