For the most part this season, reliever Michael Kohn has been a pleasant surprise for the Los Angeles Angels, but his recent struggles on the mound may look like something to be concerned about when it really shouldn’t be.
Prior to his forgettable appearances in which he has allowed three runs on four hits and three walks in a total of 1.0 innings pitched, Kohn was by far the Angels’ best arm out of the bullpen. He had a 0.93 ERA with just six hits and 22 strikeouts in 19.1 innings of work. The 27-year-old was looking as if he had found his groove on the mound and could fulfill the role as the team’s go-to pitcher.
But as he has struggled over the last two games, the wheels appear to be coming off the track a bit. However, this is not the case. Instead, the issue has been his lack of command over the last couple of games. In his appearance against the Tampa Bay Rays on May 16, Kohn faced four batters, throwing 15 pitches that included two walks. He followed it up against the Houston Astros with 26 pitches to six batters that included one walk and three hits.
This season, Kohn has struggled with command even through his success as he has 14 walks in 20.1 innings pitched. This has really hurt him as of late as hitters are being more patient with him and allowing his command issues to help them either find the pitch they want to hit or wait out a walk. This is something that Kohn must key in on and improve because if this problem persists, he could be in line for more rough appearances down the road.
It is a simple issue that can be corrected if he focuses on his mechanics, which will allow him to get back on the mound with some added confidence. ultimately, Kohn knows it just a matter of him working though his struggles and finding what helped him be an effective pitcher on the mound this season.