Yankees reliever Tommy Kahnle has experienced significant struggles throughout 2018, but what seems to be the cause of regression?
If I told you at the end of the season last year that in 2018, Tommy Kahnle would not be a good pitcher you would have said that I was crazy. Well, it is a reality, this season Tommy Kahnle has been awful this year. Pitching to a 5.89 ERA in 18.1 innings this year. This has come as a huge surprise because Kahnle was almost unhittable when the Yankees acquired him, but there are two aspects to point to as to why he could be struggling.
Let’s take a look:
Decrease In Velocity
Last year, Tommy Kahnle was throwing about 98-100 m.p.h. In this age of baseball, that is what you need to throw in order to succeed. But now, Kahnle is only sitting around 94-96.
If a pitcher is going to throw at the speed, he needs to have pinpoint control, which is a tool he doesn’t have. His change-up is not as effective if his fastball is in the mid 90’s because his change is around 89-90 m.p.h, so there isn’t much drop off. Unless you are getting old you don’t just lose velocity like that.
This was the reason the Yankees had Kahnle spend much time with the Triple-A RailRiders to try and figure out his velocity issues. The increased slightly, but he is still not the same hard-throwing pitcher the Yankees acquired at the deadline last season.
This one here is most likely what has caused Tommy to lose his speed. As a pitcher myself, if he has just the smallest difference in his mechanics it can throw off everything. Control becomes an issue and your velocity drops significantly. The Yankees need to get to the bottom on this because we all know Tommy still has it.
We all saw how this played out during the beginning of the season with Dellin Betances and how much he suffered when his mechanics were off.
Despite Kahnle’s struggles throughout this season, the Yankees should surely not give up on him. While many fans are calling for the team to DFA him (as usual), he is too talented of a pitcher to give up on so easily.
If he isn’t able to solve his issues before the end of the season, you can guarantee Kahnle and the Yankees will be working hard all offseason to try and bring him back to the pitcher he used to be.