Relief pitcher Tommy Kahnle has reportedly been told he will be called back up to the New York Yankees following the team’s 6-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday.

Kahnle, 28, has had a rough go of it this year after having his big breakout season in 2017. He has a 6.30 ERA in 10.0 innings across nine MLB appearances this year.

Coming out of spring training, Kahnle looked a little off. His usual velocity wasn’t there. He soon went on the disabled list in hopes that some time off and rehabbing would improve his velocity. However, this strategy didn’t seem to fix his speed issue. The Yankees optioned him to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre, where he has been all year save for one game in Fenway Park earlier this month.

Kahnle has been more effective in the minors, but many of his numbers are still not quite where fans would expect them to be at this point. It appears that his velocity isn’t quite back where it was a year ago when he consistently threw baseballs in the very high 90s. Now, he’s in the mid-90s. He is occasionally able to ramp it up to 98, where his fastball averaged last year.

Kahnle has a 4.01 ERA, but his strikeouts are up and his homers are down, slightly. His ground ball rate is also down.

Overall, it is good that Kahnle is back. Is he going to stay up for the rest of the season? Fans have no idea. He might be sent down one more time when CC Sabathia comes back from the disabled list in September. However, fans hope that he will perform too well for that to be an option.

The Yankees bullpen has struggled recently. Zach Britton has not met expectations since coming over from the Orioles, Aroldis Chapman has had a rougher stretch here, although he looked like himself earlier this week, David Robertson has been prone to giving up big home runs, Jonathan Holder has had a slight regression to the mean, and AJ Cole has come crashing back down to earth. The Yankees designated George Kontos for assignment Wednesday to make room for Luis Cessa, and Cessa is being sent down for Kahnle now.

Having a solid arm in Kahnle reintegrated to the pen could do a lot to energize the whole team. Let’s see if it happens.


Featured Image via Flickr/Keith Allison