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New York Yankees Star Reliever Facing Hitters, Nearing Rehab Assignment



New York Yankees Star Reliever Facing Hitters, Nearing Rehab Assignment

The New York Yankees’ bullpen could be receiving a major late-inning arm in the near future.

Star right-handed reliever Tommy Kahnle faced live hitters on Saturday, according to’s Max Goodman. The plan is for Kahnle to throw another live bullpen session this week before embarking on a minor league rehab assignment.

Kahnle began throwing bullpen sessions on April 12 and has now progressed to facing hitters. The righty has been on the injured list since Spring Training due to a shoulder issue.

Kahnle missed two months of the regular season in 2023 with biceps tendinitis. He did not make his debut until June 1 due to the injury.

Upon returning to the bullpen, the 34-year-old posted a dazzling 2.66 ERA, 1.017 WHIP and 48 strikeouts in 40.2 innings.

The Yankees have already lost Jonathan Loaisiga to season-ending Tommy John surgery and Nick Burdi to right hip inflammation. Burdi tossed 6.1 scoreless innings across seven appearances while racking up eight strikeouts before landing on the shelf. Burdi could get back on the mound this week if all goes well.

As for Kahnle, the Yankees could use his impact in the bullpen, as they have been forced to pickup journeymen such as Michael Tonkin, who had a rough outing in the team’s extra-inning loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night. Tonkin had been designated for assignment by the New York Mets on two separate occasions this season.

Kahnle has dealt with injury woes throughout his career. He initially expected to rejoin the Yankees in the first week of the regular season, but suffered a setback, which has pushed back his potential return date to May at the earliest. Kahnle missed two full seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery, so the hope is that he can stay healthy and keep the Yankees’ bullpen strong.

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