Dodgers Team News

Dodgers: Tommy Kahnle Hoping to Pitch in 2021 After Tommy John Surgery

The Dodgers signing reliever Tommy Kahnle to a 2-year deal was hard for fans to get excited about. After all, Kahnle is coming off of Tommy John surgery to repair a damaged ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow and was not expected to pitch until 2022. 

But the latest update from Kahnle suggests that he might be shooting for much earlier than that. The newest Dodgers reliever spoke about the possibility of playing in 2021 recently, and it sounds like he’s going to do everything he can to make an impact this year. 

I’m definitely trying to, hopefully, pitch [in 2021]. But I mean, if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. But I would like to. It’s just the mentality. You don’t want to miss out on a year. Especially because you know they’re going to be in contention. You know there’s a good chance we’re going back to the World Series. So, I want to be playing a part of it instead of sitting there and watching it happen.

Pitchers who undergo Tommy John generally need about 12 to 18 months before they can return to game action. Since Kahnle had surgery in August, that would make the window for him to pitch in 2021 VERY slim. He has started to throw a weighted ball though and is about a week away from being able to throw a baseball. 

Related: MLB Analyst Thinks Dodgers Will Re-Sign Hernandez

The Dodgers picked up Kahnle on a 2-year deal that will pay him $5.25 million that includes a signing bonus. He last pitched for the Yankees, making just one appearance in 2020 before tearing his UCL. But Kahnle was one of the best relievers in baseball between 2017 and 2018. In that time frame, he put up a 2.60 ERA in 90 innings and struck out close to 30% of batters. 

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  1. The contracts for Jansen and Kelly are up for the 2022 season. It is very important for Kahnle to be available in 2022. My daughter is a PT working with Olympic and Professional Athletes the greatest challenge is to keep these incredibly competitive athletes to not over extend and re-injure themselves.
    Friedman made great moves signing Kahnle, Morrow and Knebel. With the pickup of Treinen and the addition of those players making comebacks I am sure the Dodgers will have a dominant bullpen again in 2021. I am hoping someone throws a net over Roberts so he does not continue to make terrible in-game pitching decisions as he has in the past.

    1. The Dodgers won 106 games in 2019 and were on a pace to win 116 for a full season in 2020 and people keep complaining about Robert’s use of the pen, Were you expecting them to go undefeated?

      1. No not undefeated, in fact I was surprised they won as many as games as they did especially with Bellinger and Muncy having down offensive years and Buehler not showing up in the first half of the short season.
        The problem I have with Roberts is when the Dodgers are in the playoffs playing teams that at parity with the Dodgers Roberts has made terrible in-game decisions and lost at least one playoff game in the past years. The Dodgers during the season have been the better team overwhelmingly. Their talent has been able to overcome Roberts bad in-game pitching decisions. But in the playoffs the Dodger talent margin is negated and his bad decisions are critical. He lost at least one game in the Rays series do to a bad decision.Thankfully Cash made a worst decision,

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