When Tommy Kahnle signed a two-year deal in the offseason to return to the Yankees, it was a surprising, yet logical move. Kahnle had dealt with several injuries for two straight seasons but had shown he still had a unicorn pitch in his changeup. Going somewhere familiar made lots of sense.
After today’s announcement that Kahnle is making another trip to the injured list due to his recurring shoulder inflammation, his 2023 campaign is officially over. If you would have told me the Yankees would get 40 innings out of his first year back, I would have been pleased. In those 40.2 innings, he did not look as sharp as his first stint in the Bronx, but his ERA still ended up at a fantastic 2.66.
After losing his upper-90s velocity that we saw in 2017 and 2018, Kahnle was forced to evolve as a pitcher. He of course still had his filthy changeup, but no longer having 99 in his back pocket restricted how he could use his fastball. Fortunately, his changeup was good enough to essentially survive on its own. He doesn’t even need to use his four-seamer 20 percent of the time to get hitters to whiff on it. We’ll have more details on his successful season in our yearly reviews, but a tiny appreciation was necessary given we’ve unexpectedly seen the last of him until 2024. Fingers crossed he’s able to shake this issue entirely in the offseason.
In a corresponding move, Matt Bowman will likely finish his season in the big leagues with the Yankees. After not being in the majors from 2020-22 as he underwent Tommy John and worked his way back, Bowman returned this year and was effective with Scranton, throwing 58.2 innings with a 3.99 ERA. This will be his second stint with the Yankees this year.
Prior to today’s game, the Yankees made the following roster moves:— Yankees PR Dept. (@YankeesPR) September 25, 2023
•Recalled RHP Matt Bowman (#50) from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
•Placed RHP Tommy Kahnle on the 15-day injured list (retroactive to 9/22) with right shoulder inflammation.