2 things Yankees fans now have to worry about leading up to Opening Day

New York Yankees Spring Training Opening Day
New York Yankees Spring Training Opening Day / New York Yankees/GettyImages

Life's been good. The kids are distracting New York Yankees fans from the less savory Spring Training stories (like Josh Donaldson starting at third base or Aaron Hicks winning the left field job). But we can't blind ourselves. We must stay the course.

The Donaldson/Hicks situations have dated all the way back to last year, so those are much less raw and not exactly subject to headline-grabbing attention. Others have slowly crept in after the first week of spring games, and they could have lasting effects. No amount of Anthony Volpe or Jasson Dominguez homers should blind you from reality.

There are exactly two (2) new things Yankees fans should be concerned about leading up to Opening Day. The first, which was kind of snuck in there on Sunday, is Tommy Kahnle dealing with biceps tendinitis. The veteran reliever signed with the Yankees this offseason, rejoining the team after leaving in 2020, after spending two years pretty much rehabbing from Tommy John surgery with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Kahnle underwent TJ in August of 2020 and didn't pitch at all in 2021 as he dealt with some lingering complications from the procedure. That wasn't a big deal, because the Dodgers were always planning (and paying for) his contributions in 2022.

They ended up paying ~$5 million for 12.2 regular-season innings and a series-clinching loss in the NLDS. Kahnle was delayed in his offseason/Spring Training work heading into the year, didn't make his Dodgers debut until May 1, and was shut down from May 14-Sept. 13 due to forearm tightness (landing him on the 60-day IL).

The Yankees were hoping to be on the other side of that, but the right-hander is now delayed again and has been shut down for 10 days. Kahnle also refuted manager Aaron Boone and said he probably won't be ready for Opening Day since the issue will likely take a month to clear up.

Yankees News: Tommy Kahnle injury, Isiah Kiner-Falefa playing the OF

Kahnle suffering from more fatigue in his throwing arm after putting hardly any mileage on it since the start of the 2020 season can't not be a worry for the Yankees, who paid him $11.5 million this offseason. As for the fans, they're less concerned about the money. They just want Kahnle out there bringing the energy, delivering his filthy changeup, and effectively bridging the gap to the ninth inning now that Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton and Chad Green are done.

Now for the almost-as-bad news. Late last week, Boone spoke to the media about the possibility of Oswald Peraza making the Opening Day roster as the team's starting shortstop. Great topic of conversation. Tell us more!

Somehow, it turned into Boone telling everyone that Isiah Kiner-Falefa could play some outfield in 2023 if Peraza wins the SS job. Are we kidding here?

Therer are three reasons why this would be a terrible idea. The first is that IKF has NEVER played a game in the outfield in his major league career. The second is that his arm strength was his primary problem at shortstop in 2022, something that will not help his lack of experience in the outfield. And finally, all of Hicks, Dominguez, Rafael Ortega, Willie Calhoun, Oswaldo Cabrera and Everson Pereira are actual outfielders, and they're all hitting worlds better than Kiner-Falefa this spring.

IKF is an infield utility player. He's not a starting shortstop. He's not an outfielder. If he's not going to be deployed properly, then trade him as soon as humanly possible. Forcing him into an outfield role when it's not needed whatsoever is a waste of everybody's time and resources.