New reliever and former Yankee farmhand Tommy Kahnle may actually be even better than he currently seems. And that’s saying something because his current numbers are pretty stellar. Over the past two seasons, Kahnle has an incredible 15K/9. Even his career 10.2K/9 is really solid. His current 2.43ERA, 0.946 WHIP and 1.7BB/9 are all really strong as well.
But what might be even more impressive are his peripheral stats. Depending on how much you like to look at advanced metrics, these are encouraging. His 1.47 FIP, 1.63 xFIP, and 1.62 SIERA all suggest that his ERA should actually be even lower than it currently is.
And Kahnle is just 27 years old. His first two major league seasons in Colorado weren’t great. His ERA sat above four both years in the hitter-friendly confines of Coors Field. But last year with the White Sox Kahnle turned a corner. Then this year, he’s become another pitcher completely. Though he always had the strikeout numbers, he’s taken it to silly levels this season. Maybe more important, he’s dropped his walk rate to the aforementioned 1.7BB/9 after three seasons of 4.1, 7.6 and 6.6 walks per nine innings. His 41.1 percent groundball rate will also act as a boon in Yankee Stadium.
The best part for the Yankees is that Kahnle is controllable via arbitration through 2020. If he continues to develop as an elite relief option, it may make for an easier goodbye when Dellin Betances hits free agency. Here’s hoping that Kahnle continues his success in the Bronx.