Colorado Rockies Rundown: Michael McKenry’s Surgery, Tommy Kahnle’s Struggles, And DJ LeMahieu’s Success
By Bobby DeMuro
Jul 30, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; Colorado Rockies relief pitcher T. Kahnle (54) pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Tommy Kahnle fades down the stretch
Here’s a great stat from Baseball Reference via Dargan Southard of MLB.com; Tommy Kahnle is just the tenth pitcher in the last 101 years to walk four hitters, get less than three outs, and not give up a run, after he was bailed out by Scott Oberg on Tuesday night in Atlanta.
It wasn’t just Tuesday that should concern Colorado Rockies fans about Kahnle, though. The righty has walked at least one batter in six of his last eight outings in the big leagues, and Tuesday marked the third time this season that Kahnle has walked at least three hitters in an outing. He’s now walked 28 in 33.1 innings (36 games) this year.
[ Related: Colorado Rockies’ reliever Christian Friedrich is fading lately, too ]
I wanted Kahnle to be the Rockies’ closer for the rest of the year, of course, which looks kind of dumb now — but I’d still argue that the Rockies gain more from letting Kahnle learn in a pressure role than keeping John Axford there just to keep up appearances.
Nevertheless, here we are with Kahnle, who is becoming like most of the rest of the Rockies’ staff (and specifically, the bullpen): completely unable to throw strikes consistently. Baseball is an ebb and flow, so there’s no reason to write Kahnle off right now, but it’d sure be nice to see him bounce back to the player he was in his first career save, and see some improvement heading into 2016.
With the power stuff he has, Kahnle can be a really nice set-up man for the Colorado Rockies, and if this club is going to be successful at all in the short-term, they need to stack as many guys like Kahnle as they can before Adam Ottavino when he eventually returns next year.
Next: MLB Trade Rumors on Rockies' improvements