For the second time in the past few days, a member of the 2022 Dodgers bullpen is leaving Los Angeles to sign a two-year deal with an AL East team. After losing Chris Martin to the Red Sox over the weekend, L.A. watched Tommy Kahnle walk away on Tuesday morning.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 6, 2022
Kahnle missed most of his two seasons in Dodger blue, but when he was on the mound, he was excellent. The right-handed changeup artist posted a 1.04 ERA in 8.2 innings after coming off the injured list in September. His postseason performance was one he’d rather forget, as he allowed all three batters he faced in the decisive Game 4 of the NLDS to reach base. All three eventually scored, helping turn a 3-0 Dodgers lead into a 5-3 Padres victory that knocked L.A. out of the postseason.
Kahnle pitched in 129 games over four seasons with the Yankees from 2017-20, posting a 4,01 ERA with 157 strikeouts in 112.1 innings pitched. He had Tommy John surgery in 2020 and signed with Los Angeles after that season, making a brief return in early 2022 before heading back to the injured list until September.
The 33-year-old Kahnle is a New York native, which might have played into his free-agency decision. Before the Yankees and Dodgers, he pitched for the Rockies and White Sox, showing flashes of brilliance everywhere he went but never totally sustaining it. Still, he has an 11.1 K/9 for his career, and if he can keep his walk rate closer to 2022’s 2.1 BB/9 — half his career mark of 4.2 — he could be poised for a big breakout.
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