Michael King impressed for the Yankees during his Saturday outing against the Mets.
Masahiro Tanaka figures to be out for the first couple weeks of the 2020 MLB season after suffering a concussion. The New York Yankees are going to take their time with the veteran right-hander to avoid any potential lingering issues considering this year is only 60 games long.
That means the Bombers will need another starter to step up in the meantime. Then again, it’s also possible another “starter” propels himself into a larger bullpen role given manager Aaron Boone’s use of the opener, but either way, it means another pitcher will have a bigger impact with the team over the next few weeks.
And Michael King is already making a big impression after his outing against the New York Mets on Saturday.
He made Michael Conforto look silly in that at-bat, and then blew a fastball by Pete Alonso to strike out the 2019 Rookie of the Year. Before the right-hander twirled an impressive outing at Citi Field, Boone already had positive things to say.
“Before the game, Boone said that King ‘could serve a number of different options’ on the big-league staff ‘and we’d feel comfortable with that,'” wrote Pete Caldera of NorthJersey.com.
We already saw King make his MLB debut last year by logging a relief outing, but now with the rotation in flux with Domingo German out for the regular season and Tanaka out for the time being, the youngster’s role is bound to expand, especially after the way he’s turned heads in spring training and Summer Camp.
While Clarke Schmidt has also been wildly impressive, but he’s yet to even reach Triple-A. King has made his way through the farm system and hit the bigs last year, so it’s quite possible he has the edge given his experience, coupled with the fact the team may not want to rush Schmidt and thrust him into a pressure-filled role so early.
So with Tanaka out and the Yankees looking at Gerrit Cole, James Paxton and JA Happ as the top three starters for now, King figures to be among the favorites as he continues to battle with Schmidt, Jordan Montgomery, Jonathan Loaisiga and Deivi Garcia.
He gave his final performance before the start of the regular season with a flourish, and he’s certainly cemented himself as a top contender.