Tommy Kahnle returned to the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen on Tuesday after missing four months due to a bone bruise in his right elbow.
The injury was believed to have been related to the Tommy John surgery Kahnle underwent in August 2020 before he signed with the Dodgers. Kahnle ended up missing the entire 2021 season while recovering and rehabbing before returning to the mound this past May.
However, he only appeared in four games after being activated and ended up on the 60-day injured list until he began a rehab stint in late August. Now that he is active once again, Kahnle is feeling as healthy as he has since before the Tommy John operation, as seen on SportsNet LA:
“It felt great to get back out there, feeling healthy and pitching like I used to. It just felt great to be out there and feel healthy. … I feel like last time I came back, I just thought it was based off Tommy John that I was a little achy in the forearm and stuff. I thought it was just part of it and I kept going until I eventually couldn’t go anymore.
“This last time rehabbing, I finally feel like I’m back to where I was pre-surgery. It took about five weeks for it kind of almost go away, and when I started throwing again, it was gone. I pretty much felt like I was good and kind of like I was back to where I was pre-surgery. I want to say in my first or second live, I felt like I was ready.”
If Kahnle can stay healthy, he has the potential to establish himself as a high-leverage reliever in the postseason for Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. Prior to his injury-shortened 2020 season, Kahnle was a key member of the New York Yankees bullpen.
In 2019, his last full season, Kahnle pitched to a 3.67 ERA, 3.33 FIP and 1.06 WHIP with 88 strikeouts and 20 walks over 61.1 innings. The right-hander’s best season came in 2017 when he posted a 2.59 ERA, 1.83 FIP and 1.12 WHIP with 96 strikeouts to 17 walks in 62.2 innings.
Tommy Kahnle open to any role
Although Kahnle has a history of pitching in high-leverage situations, he has continued to express a willingness to contribute in any capacity for the Dodgers. The 33-year-old reiterated that stance after his scoreless inning of work on Wednesday.
Make sure to follow Dodger Blue on Instagram! It’s the best way to see exclusive coverage from games and events, get your questions answered, and more!