It’s time to start thinking about Michael Kohn
Michael Kohn appeared in his 52nd game of the season on Monday night, if you count the Minor Leagues. That’s 13 off his career high, with six weeks left to go in the season, for a guy who’s fresh off Tommy John surgery.
The Angels are mindful of that, of course. Which is why at some point, it’ll be time to pull back the reigns and give him more time between appearances.
Right now, though, they really can’t.
“After Sept. 1, we’re going to have more options to monitor some guys,” Mike Scioscia said. “Right now, there’s really no roster flexibility. We have [Mike] Trout who’s down; it’s tough to get another pitcher here. [Pitching coach Mike Butcher] is really diligent about just the day-to-day monitoring of these guys. There’s some guys, as we said, that are tired. As far as Michael Kohn coming off Tommy John, it is something we have given consideration to and will continue to give consideration.”
Kohn — who, if you’ll recall, had Tommy John surgery one day after Ryan Madson — is probably the Angels’ Comeback Player of the Year, with a 3.79 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP in 40 1/3 innings after a scoreless seventh in Monday’s 5-2 loss to the Indians. But he has a 7.20 ERA since July 5 and has been charged with six earned runs in 6 1/3 innings this month. Ten times this season, he’s appeared in back-to-back games. And three of those times, it’s been three in a row.
Scioscia said the Angels won’t completely shut Kohn down if he’s healthy, but they’ll “monitor him a little bit and see how it goes towards this last month of the season.”
The Angels need to preserve as many viable bullpen options as possible heading into 2014 — but Kohn is also in his first full season in the big leagues.
“He’s still developing,” Scioscia said of the 27-year-old right-hander. “The thing about Michael is he’s not the finished product. So, every day you go out there to prove yourself, you gain a little more experience. And you’re seeing him develop more of an off-speed pitch, like he used tonight that helped him. You’re seeing him move forward with some things. To artificially truncate that development doesn’t make sense, but it does make sense to monitor just where he is on his innings and appearances and try to contain that as much as you can.”