It's been a long road for former Shaker High School pitcher, Tommy Kahnle, since he became one of the most valuable middle relievers in all of Major League Baseball in 2019. That year, the Latham native pitched in 72 games for the New York Yankees amassing 27 "holds" with an impressive 3.67 ERA. Kahnle's money pitch, the knee-buckling change-up, was amongst the best in baseball. Then after only one game in the COVID shortened 2020 season, injury struck his valuable right elbow and Kahnle's relationship with the Yankees ended.

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MLB Photos via Getty Images
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On August 4th of 2020. Kahnle elected to have Tommy John surgery. According to ESPN.com Yankees head physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad performed the surgery. Then nearly two months later, following the Pinstripes' early exit from the playoffs at the hands the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS, the general manager Brian Cashman wanted to put Kahnle on the minor league roster to avoid a salary raise for the Shaker grad. Tommy Kahnle fresh off of surgery, refused and chose free agency. 5 weeks later, Kahnle landed a $4.75 million two-year deal with the Los Angelas Dodgers. The 2022 season was the target for this contract to see its value for Dodgers' president Andrew Friedman.

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Following a year and a half of rehabilitation, Kahnle made four appearances in May of this season and promptly went back on the Injured List. After only 4 innings of work, the 33 year-old right hander need more time. Thankfully for Tommy Kahnle and the Dodgers, the Latham native was activated on September 14th and looks to be really healthy. In 12.2 innings this season, Kahnle has struck out 14 with a 2.84 ERA. Given the number of injuries that the Dodgers have suffered with their pitching staff, the Shaker High School star will be a crucial factor if the Dodgers are to win a World Series ring in 2022. Kahnle struck out the Padres in order on 10 pitches in Game 2 of the NLDS on Wednesday. He looks like he is ready.

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