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Ranking the Rockies: No. 42 Tommy Kahnle was great when he was not very bad

Tommy Kahnle couldn't make up his mind in 2015.

David Banks/Getty Images
Part 1

What a season for Tommy Kahnle! I’m going to give you two numbers. One will be higher than the other. The first number is 39. Remember that: 39. And the second number is 33 1/3. It’s more of a number and a fraction. Is a fraction a number? An integer? I don’t know. It’s not important. Here is what is important: 39 is a larger number than probably maybe number 33 1/3.

Now, what do those numbers represent? The first one, 39, is the number of batters Kahnle struck out. The second one, 33 1/3, is the number of innings Kahnle pitched. Striking out more batters than innings pitched is great! That makes a K/9 of 10.53! Better than Wade Davis!

Wowza what a season for Tommy Kahnle!

Part 2

What a season for Tommy Kahnle. Kahnle walked 28 batters in 33 1/3 innings pitched. While he didn’t gain the unsavory distinction of walking more batters than innings pitched, he did come uncomfortably close to that first number being larger than the second (we could discuss whether or not a fraction is a number, but that would be stupid). Here is some concrete math: 28 walks in 33 1/3 innings is a BB/9 of 7.56. Among relievers with at least 30 innings pitched, that figure is tops in baseball. But in this case, the top means the bottom.

With that many walks, there has to be some extraordinary work elsewhere to maintain respectable numbers. And, in fact, Kahnle finished the season with a 4.84 ERA. His adjusted DRA and cFIP suggest he was about league average. But walking seven and a half batters per nine innings is playing a very dangerous game.

Wow, indeed, what a season for Tommy Kahnle.