Prior to the 2011 season with the Charleston RiverDogs Kahnle had been playing college baseball so this year has been one of transition for the almost 22-year old.
He started the season with two strong pitches, the changeup and fastball, and he has been working on a slider since Spring Training. Despite now having a three pitch repertoire, he had not found a steady delivery to make the pitches work constantly.
"A lot of inconsistency," stated Charleston's pitching coach Carlos Chantres of what he has seen from Kahnle this year. "He has shown spurts that he can be good, but he's battling through some delivery stuff which makes his release point off so he throws a lot of pitches during the game."
Kahnle said that his go-to pitch was his fastball because it was the one that he had been throwing the longest and he was most comfortable with it. The problem has been that Kahnle struggled with the command on his go-to pitch, causing his counts to get high and an increase in walks.
"I went through a couple outings where they were high," mentioned Kahnle of the walks he has allowed before his appearance on Friday. "My mechanics were out of whack and I couldn't throw strikes. But my last two outings looked like they were good and I'm cutting down the walks."
Despite the recent trouble with his fastball command, Kahnle recognized improvements in his secondary pitches. He said that his slider is what he has improved most this season and he has thrown it a few times during games. The changeup he felt pretty comfortable with from the beginning of the season and it has been a pitch he can turn to second to the fastball.
"It's off and on," remarked Chantres of Kahnle's slider. "Last game he threw it really good. He only threw a small sample, but there is more tilt on it now and he's being more aggressive.
"His changeup was early in the year [and it] was really good and then he lost is a little bit when he started battling through his delivery stuff. It's got bottom and it's a swing-and-miss type change so it's really good when it's on, but it's got to be on."
Kahnle recently earned his second save of the season on July 24 against the West Virginia Power. He pitched three innings and gave up three hits, but did not allow any runs. His ERA stood at 4.66 for the season until he gave up two more earned runs on Friday night, but struck out five in two innings. All numbers aside, he felt that he has been improving over his last two outings and hoped to continue to do so.
"What he needs to work on is commanding his fastball," Chantres said. "His secondary pitches will be there and I think with this new delivery we have been with him he should be able to get that release point back and hopefully throw strikes."
Kahnle hoped that working on his new delivery would have his ability to throw strikes back. Chantres noted that it has been tough on Kahnle to go out to the mound every few days and battle his way against batters instead of blowing past them like Kahnle knew he could.
"I want to be able to limit my 3-2 counts," said Kahnle directly of his goals for the rest of the season. "I want to limit the walks, have a go-to slider that I can feel comfortable to throw in any count, and just get better command of the fastball."
Kahnle Consistently Inconsistent
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