Yankees reliever Tommy Kahnle undergoes Tommy John surgery

Tommy Kahnle
Tommy Kahnle (Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports)

New York Yankees reliever Tommy Kahnle underwent Tommy John surgery on Tuesday, which was performed by team doctor Chris Ahmad, according to reports.

The procedure brings his 2020 season to an end less than two weeks since it began and puts his 2021 season in legitimate jeopardy.

The average recovery time from Tommy John surgery usually ranges between nine and 12 months, meaning as a best-case scenario, the Yankees will get their reliever back in the second half of next season.

It’s an important year for the 30-year-old right-hander, too, as his contract expires following the 2021 campaign.

Kahnle appeared in just one scoreless inning this season before an MRI revealed he suffered a right UCL injury. He was placed on the IL, retroactive to July 28, while Boone announced that he would need surgery on Friday.

While he hasn’t necessarily repeated the type of shutdown pitching he exhibited with the Chicago White Sox between 2016-2017, Kahnle was a vital member of the Yankees’ bullpen last season.

In 72 appearances, he posted a 3.67 ERA and a WHIP of 1.060. He also improved his walks-per-nine-innings number from 5.8 to 2.9 while raising his strikeouts-per-nine mark to 12.9 punchouts.

The Yankees certainly have the depth to fill the void that is left by Kahnle in the team’s bullpen in the form of Adam Ottavino, Chad Green, Zack Britton, and David Hale.

They’re also set to receive a big boost in the return of Aroldis Chapman, who got the green light last week to return to action after dealing with COVID-19.

Jordan Montgomery’s return to the starting rotation could also give the Yankees the flexibility to take a starter like JA Happ and put him in the bullpen.

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