Shortly after this afternoon’s 7-4 win against the Tigers, the Yankees announced they reinstated Adam Warren from the 10-day DL and optioned Tommy Kahnle to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Following Game 1 of today’s doubleheader, the Yankees made the following roster moves:
•Returned from rehab and reinstated RHP Adam Warren (#43) from the 10-day disabled list
•Optioned RHP Tommy Kahnle to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) June 4, 2018
Reinstating a crucial bullpen piece in Warren was a no-brainer, but sending down Tommy Kahnle did turn some heads.
Warren, 30, is 0-1 with a 3.24 ERA in eight appearances this season.
He was originally placed on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation on June 16.
On the other hand, Kahnle’s demotion comes as a bit of a surprise considering how valuable he could be to the bullpen.
So far this season, the right-handed reliever is 1-0 with an inflated 7.00 ERA in just eight appearances on the season. The Yankees likely assigned Kahnle to Triple-A in an effort for him to log consistent innings and get back on track.
A noticeable drop in velocity could be a factor in his demotion as well. Sitting at 97.9 mph in 2017, Kahnle saw his fastball clock in at just 95 mph, a concerning drop considering Kahnle’s tendency to miss his spots.
Additionally, the 28-year-old righty needs to spend 157 more days on a Big League roster to reach four years of total service time. This would entitle Kahnle to become a free agent after the 2020 season.
If the Yankees opt to keep the reliever in Triple-A for more than one month, he would not reach four years of service time at the conclusion of the 2018 season, thus giving the Yankees more team control over his contract.
Bottom line: Kahnle’s stay in Scranton will provide him an opportunity to regain his form. However, his service time could be an underlying factor behind the demotion.
If Kahnle manages to stay healthy and regain his 2017 form, he likely will find himself back in the Bronx sooner rather than later.