Colorado Rockies trade reliever Tommy Kahnle to the Chicago White Sox


Did the Colorado Rockies give up on flame throwing reliever Tommy Kahnle too soon?

The Rockies announced Tuesday that they have traded the right-hander to the Chicago White Sox and in return, received minor league pitcher Yency Almonte.

Kahnle, 26, was a rule-5 draft pick by the Colorado Rockies in 2013, snatching him from the New York Yankees who drafted him in the fifth round of the 2010 amateur draft. Kahnle was a pleasant surprise during his rookie season (2014) to say the least. Not only did he light-up the radar gun, he racked up the strikeouts.

Kahnle logged 68.1 innings during his first full season in the Majors, allowing 32 runs on 51 hits while striking out 63 batters. Kahnle posted a WHIP of 1.194 while achieving 8.3 strikeouts per nine innings. The 2015 season was a whole different story for the reliever, mainly due to inconsistency and walks.

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During the 2015 season, Kahnle split time between the Rockies and their Triple-A affiliate Albuquerque Isotopes. Yet again, the right-hander was inconsistent, posting a walks per nine ratio of 7.6 — that’s way too high for any pitcher, starter or reliever. That was basically the theme for Colorado’s relievers — walks. Despite Kahnle being erratic, he posted his best strikeout per nine rating of 10.5.

Kahnle pitched in 33.1 innings for the Rockies in 2015, yielding 18 runs on 31 hits, walking 28 batters and striking out 39.

One problem that has been an issue for Kahnle outside of walks was his slide-step, or lack thereof. It seemed as if every time the opposition reached first base, second base was a given with Kahnle on the mound. It almost reminded me of, dare I say it, Tim Tebow’s elongated release. If the White Sox can fine tune Kahnle and his mechanics, they will have one heck of a reliever on their team.

In return, the Rockies received White Sox minor league pitcher Yency Almonte, whom I’m not familiar with at all. Almonte was drafted in the 17th round of the 2012 amateur draft, selected by the Los Angeles Angels.

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Overall, Almonte is 16-16 in the minor leagues with an ERA of 4.70. He split time this past season with Class-A Kannapolis and Winston-Salem, posting a record of 11-7 over 23 starts — 24 appearances.