Relief Pitcher: Tommy Kahnle
In 2019, Tommy Kahnle became one of Aaron Boone’s favorite weapons out of the bullpen. Boone would use the Lynn College product at any point in the game and often went to him in big situations with a lefty batter at the plate. There Kahnle used his wicked change-up to get batters out.
Kahnle had a rough 2018 season, he was up and down, riding the shuttle between Scranton-Wilkes-Barre and the Bronx. He ultimately finished with a 6.56 ERA and didn’t make the postseason roster. After the season, Kahnle revealed that a sore bicep, which he hid from the team, led him to pitch in pain all year.
He bounced back nicely in 2019 finishing with a 3.67 ERA and 88 strikeouts in 61.1 innings. There were glimpses of the 2017 Kahnle, who finished with a 2.70 ERA and was a key member of the bullpen.
It’s clear that Aaron Boone has regained his confidence in Kahnle. The skipper often put him in the game during critical situations last year. Boone was confident enough to pitch him in eight of the Yankees playoff games last year where Kahnle posted a 2.25 ERA in eight innings.
With the loss of Dellin Betances, Kahnle will continue to get his chances to set up closer Aroldis Chapman as well as bailing the team out of difficult situations. The Bombers are hoping that he will get back to the dominant relief pitcher he was a few years ago.
2020 Projection: Kahnle is Boone’s guy in key situations. Second best bullpen pitcher for Yankees behind Chapman.