The Dodgers announced that right-handed pitcher Tommy Kahnle has been activated off the injured list, relays J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group. Lefty Garrett Cleavinger has been optioned to create space on the active roster.
Kahnle, 32, last pitched in a major league game July 26, 2020, when with the Yankees. He underwent Tommy John surgery after that and has been working his way back to health ever since. Many pitchers have been able to secure themselves two-year deals while recuperating from TJS, with the team usually backloading the contract due to the fact that they won’t get any contributions in the first year. Kahnle signed such a deal with the Dodgers, earning $750K last year and $3.45MM this year, with a further $750K available in incentives.
Kahnle oscillated between dominating and struggling during the seasons preceding his surgery. In 2017, split between the White Sox and Yankees, he threw 62 2/3 innings with a 2.59 ERA, incredible 37.5% strikeout rate and 6.6% walk rate. The next year, however, just about everything went in the wrong direction, as his ERA shot up to 6.56, with a 28% strikeout rate and 14% walk rate. He was able to swing the pendulum back the other way in 2019, though not quite as dominant as 2017. In 61 1/3 innings, he registered a 3.67 ERA, with 35.5% strikeout rate and 8.1% walk rate. He threw just a single inning in 2020 before hitting the injured list.
In 6 1/3 innings of rehab work in the minors so far this year, he’s allowed two earned runs while striking out seven and walking just one. He’ll add another powerful arm to the Dodgers’ bullpen mix, jockeying for high-leverage roles with Daniel Hudson and Brusdar Graterol, forming an impressive bridge to closer Craig Kimbrel.