Tommy Kahnle’s progress toward Yankees injury return slowed ‘a little bit’

PHOENIX — Tommy Kahnle’s road back to the Yankees has hit another speed bump.

The reliever, who started the season on the 15-day injured list because of a late start to his offseason throwing program due to a shoulder issue that ended his season last year, has been stalled once again.

Kahnle did not bounce back as well as expected after a live batting-practice session last week in Tampa, which has slowed his progress “a little bit,” manager Aaron Boone said Monday before the Yankees’ 5-2 win against the Diamondbacks.

“So he’s back in his throwing program,” Boone said before winning 5-2 against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field. “I don’t know how long that slows him.”

The Yankees had been targeting the April 12-14 series in Cleveland as a potential return date for Kahnle, but that will likely be pushed back.

The 34-year-old right-hander was expected to need to pitch in at least a few rehab games before returning to the Yankees, though Boone said Monday he did not know when Kahnle might begin a rehab assignment.

The Yankees already have relievers Scott Effross and Lou Trivino on the 60-day injured list, but their bullpen tossed 15 ¹/₃ scoreless innings in the season-opening series against the Astros.

Kirk Cousins’ cousin is the newest addition to the Yankees’ bullpen.

Jake Cousins was activated onto the roster Monday after they acquired him in a trade with the White Sox on Sunday in exchange for cash considerations.

The right-handed reliever spent spring training with the White Sox after signing a minor league deal with them in December but had been assigned to their Triple-A affiliate to start the season.

Instead, the Yankees swooped in to trade for him and immediately added him to their bullpen.

“I know our guys are really excited about him,” Boone said. “From scouts to front office, analysts, [they] feel like we got a talented guy that hopefully there’s some still untapped things that we can get into. I know we like his talent.”

Cousins, the cousin of the new Falcons quarterback, is a heavy slider-sinker pitcher, which falls in line with the type of arm the Yankees have had success with in the past.

The 29-year-old, who owns a career 3.08 ERA in 51 appearances across parts of three seasons in the big leagues, has one minor league option remaining to give the Yankees some flexibility with him.

To make room for Cousins on the roster (both the 26-man and 40-man), the Yankees designated left-hander Tanner Tully for assignment.

The Yankees announced their minor league affiliate rosters on Monday (Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre had already been revealed with their season underway).

Among the notable assignments to Double-A Somerset: top prospect OF Spencer Jones, LHP Brock Selvidge and C Ben Rice; to High-A Hudson Valley: LHP Kyle Carr and 2B Roc Riggio; and to Single-A Tampa: SS George Lombard Jr. and SS Roderick Arias.

In a shock to no one, Juan Soto was named the American League Player of the Week after batting 9-for-17 with a 1.365 OPS and flashing terrific defense in right field during the season-opening series against the Astros. … This marked the Yankees’ first trip to Chase Field since 2019, a series in which CC Sabathia recorded his 3,000th strikeout.

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