Dodgers News: Tommy Kahnle Building Up To High-Leverage Role

The Los Angeles Dodgers have received a strong performance from their bullpen so far this season, and with the recent activation of Tommy Kahnle from the 10-day injured list, manager Dave Roberts has another weapon at his disposal.

After a rehab assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City and Low-A Rancho Cucamonga, Kahnle was activated prior to the series finale against the Detroit Tigers. He retired all three batters faced, tallying two strikeouts and topping out at 97 mph on his fastball.

The addition of Kahnle should aid the bullpen after losing Blake Treinen to an injury that has prevented him from picking up a baseball since being placed on the IL on April 22 for right shoulder discomfort.

It’s unclear when Treinen will return to the Dodgers, but Roberts views Kahnle as a candidate to help fill the void by pitching in high-leverage situations, via SportsNetLA:

“I think ultimately that’s where we see him. I don’t necessarily feel that I want to tell him. I want to give him a soft landing. It’s been a while since he’s pitched in a big league game, so putting him in the right spots is the right thing to do. I can’t really spell out what that means, but ultimately yeah, we see him doing what Blake has done for us.”

Kahnle established himself as a key member of the New York Yankees bullpen before undergoing Tommy John surgery. In 2019, he pitched to a 3.67 ERA, 3.33 FIP, and 1.06 WHIP with 88 strikeouts and 20 walks over 61.1 innings (72 appearances).

While Kahnle will be relied upon to make up for the absence of Treinen, the Dodgers will first ease him into action.

Kahnle wants to build on Dodgers debut

Kahnle’s appearance against the Tigers was his first time pitching in a regular season game since July 26, 20220.

Nonetheless, he didn’t have heightened nerves and approached the day in the same manner as any other game. Kahnle was encouraged by the results and hoped it would serve as a springboard moving forward.

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