Tommy Kahnle #48 of the Chicago White Sox throws in the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on July 8, 2017 in Denver, Colorado.
By Joe Giglio
If anyone in baseball thought Tommy Kahnle could become an impact reliever for the Yankees, it was the Yankees.
Kahnle, a 2010 fifth-round pick in New York, is headed back to the Yankees after leaving the organization during the 2013 Rule 5 draft. The 27-year-old right hander was shipped back to the Bronx in a blockbuster deal on Tuesday night.
Here are five things to know about the newest Yankees relief pitcher.
Strikeout artist: Kahnle entered play on July 18 with a 15.0 SO/9 mark. That equals out to 60 strikeouts in 36 innings.
Club control: Arbitration is about to arrive for the soon-to-be 28-year-old. That means Kahnle will soon become more expensive for the Yankees, but three years of club control make him an attractive trade acquisition.
Command finally arrived: Kahnle always had the stuff to a shutdown relief pitcher, but poor control ruined his outings. From 2014-2016, Kahnle walked 5.5 batters per nine innings pitched. Top-notch stuff was ruined by bad command, resulting in an ERA over 4.00 and bouncing from Colorado to Chicago. This year, Kahnle’s 8.57 SO/BB mark is outstanding.
Not vulnerable to platoons: Unlike many late-game relievers, Kahnle isn’t susceptible to drastic lefty-righty splits. Right-handed hitters own a .499 OPS vs. Kahnle. Lefties hit him slightly better (.672 OPS), but haven’t taken him out for a home run this season. This guy can get hitters out from both sides of the plate.
Andrew Miller 2.0 in the Bronx: No, Kahnle isn’t as good or consistent as Miller. But the Yankees just found a replacement for therelief star that was shipped away last trade deadline season. Take a look at these numbers:
2016 Miller (w/Yankees): 15.3 SO/9, 1.4 BB/9
2017 Kahnle: 15.0 SO/9, 1.8 BB/9