After the game it was announced that Tommy Kahnle needs Tommy John surgery, but what does this injury mean for the rest of the Yankees bullpen?
We all wondered why Tommy Kahnle was not on to pitch in the 8th inning of the O’s game. Loaisiga stayed in for his third inning and gave up a go-ahead 2-run homer to Pedro Severino. At the time, no one knew what was wrong with Kahnle and everyone went after Boone. Thankfully, Aaron Judge hit a 3-run homer in the 9th and the Yankees won the game 8-6.
During the post-game press conference, Boone stated that Kahnle was unavailable and they would have more on it the following day. Kahnle was reported to have forearm soreness and went on the IL. When the Yankees sent out the move it said that it was a UCL injury.
After the Yankees beat the Redsox’s 5-1, Boone said that Kahnle will require season-ending Tommy John surgery. While this is a huge blow to the Yankees, they are actually built to handle this.
Chapman has been cleared to return to the team following two negative COVID tests. The good thing about Chapman is that he didn’t really have symptoms and was working out the entire time he was quarantined. It was reported that he will play catch Saturday and the Yankees will see where he is. There is a chance that Chapman could be back this weekend as he is in amazing shape.
The Yankees big five will now turn into the big four. A dominant group of Green, Ottavino, Britton, and Chapman will be holding down the end of most close games for the Yankees. Boone won’t be able to use them all the time and some arms will need to step up.
The first player that comes to mind is Loaisiga, he has stuff like Betances but has failed to be able to put it together thus far. Loaisiga seems to be the Yankees long man so it’s hard to see him being put in Kahnle’s place.
One player to keep an eye on is prospect Nick Nelson, a hard-throwing righty with great stuff. Nelson pitched against the Phillies in the Yankees last exhibition game and threw the ball really well, striking out three batters in 1.2 innings of work. He features an upper 90’s fastball with a 12-6 curve that is very similar to Betances’. Nelson has the stuff that makes a great reliever and should be given a shot to replace Kahnle.