Yankees News: Tommy Kahnle rehab, Jasson Dominguez, mysterious top prospect injury

Oh! Duh! Of course!
Sep 20, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Tommy Kahnle (41) pitches
Sep 20, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Tommy Kahnle (41) pitches / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees are lucky they started 2024 so well at the big-league level and entered the season with so many intriguing arms in the minors, because the top tier of their system is dropping like flies hit at Jake Bauers in left field.

Henry Lalane, widely expected to get some full-season work to start 2024, was oddly absent to begin the year after knifing through the Blue Jays in this year's inaugural Spring Breakout showcase. As it turns out, his expected Top 100 prospect ascent will have to wait.

Instead, he joins Chase Hampton on the Injured List, though all fans are currently hoping the severity of their maladies is very different. Lalane showed up on the seven-day IL this week, and the source of his trauma remains unknown.

Yankees' Henry Lalane hits IL; Jasson Dominguez, Tommy Kahnle, DJ LeMahieu, Nick Burdi rehab updates

The thing about having a large wave of injured Yankees, though, is that eventually you have a large wave of injured Yankees returning. If you're a big fan of rehab, buckle up for the next few weeks.

Jasson Dominguez's return will be the headline-grabbiest comeback this side of Gerrit Cole, and according to Aaron Boone this week, he's progressing nicely. The Martian is about two weeks away from taking DH at-bats in the minors. Given the low number of big-league reps he has under his belt, the Yankees are probably going to give him more time than fans want to get his feet wet in the minors. Expect him to progress to playing center field comfortably before he's promoted.

The Yankees could expect to see two high-leverage (and high-strikeout) relievers return to the MLB level soon, as well, though you should never count your chickens before they hatch (and feel soreness mid-hatching). Nick Burdi, who struck out both top-15 overall prospect James Wood and former Yankee Joey Gallo at the Triple-A level, expects to be activated Friday before the Rays series.

He hasn't pitched at the big-league level since April 16 at Toronto, and has battled a hip issue for the past several weeks, but struck out eight men in 6 1/3 frames during his short stint with the Yankees (and looked good doing it). Burdi will likely replace the eminently DFA-able Michael Tonkin.

Boone claimed this week that Tommy Kahnle's return is also around the relative corner, but expected him to need five or so rehab outings for the purposes of buildup. After all, his injury was still barking from Sept. 2023.

So far, so good; the first outing was scoreless on 12 pitches (four changeups), and featured a heater that reached 95.5 MPH. Kahnle, despite some late-season blowups, was overall solid in 2023 (2.66 ERA in 42 games). It's unfair to expect him to absorb a long-term workload, but he could be plenty effective (and can help with the whole "strikeout" problem).

Oh, and DJ LeMahieu? Eh. He's progressing nicely, per the team, and may take live at-bats soon, but he's mostly fielding ground balls hit directly at him. That sounds like lateral motion isn't an option at the moment. Do with that information what you will.