Thanks to Yankees legend Nestor Cortes Jr’s start Sunday afternoon against the New York Mets, you might’ve forgotten all about Michael King being used out of the bullpen the day prior instead. What finally necessitated the switch?
The black-and-white PR message we received on Thursday only further confuses us, raising even more questions: namely, how exactly did King suffer this brand-new injury?
King held down a rotation spot for several weeks with the Yankees despite looking much more like a bulk guy, often faltering in the first inning, and Cortes Jr. grabbed the opportunity and ran with it when the sinkerballing righty bowed out of Sunday’s game.
So, what happened on July 5 that caused a “middle finger” injury that’s sent King to the IL and brought Tyler Wade back to the roster? Did he flip off Cortes Jr. too aggressively for stealing his spotlight?
Kidding. We think.
Regardless, Wade’s workout presence around team this past week now has an explanation, and King now has the whole All-Star break and beyond to think about subtler ways to flip the bird.
Yankees starter Michael King has hit the IL with a contused middle finger.
This season, King has been an exceptional bullpen piece, and his most recent phenomenal performance came in cleaning up on Saturday afternoon, tossing four innings of nine-strikeout ball after a Justin Wilson meltdown.
As a starter, the situation’s been different, with first-inning dingers to Rafael Devers and Ryan O’Hearn blighting his record.
Though Cortes Jr. is probably the better option at the moment (probably?!), the Yankees have made great use of King’s ability to stretch multiple innings, and certainly could’ve used him when Nick Nelson faltered on Wednesday night in Seattle. An injury is a better explanation for his absence than negligence.
For your sanity and ours, we won’t focus on Wade’s return here, though the late-inning pinch-running specialist has certainly been lapped by Tim Locastro in the pecking order.
So…when’d he hurt the finger? Unspooling it when Pete Alonso’s dinger off Aroldis Chapman landed in the stands? Or later that evening when he found out Chappy made the All-Star Game? Maybe the mild-mannered King experimented with Spider Tack as a joke, then couldn’t yank his finger off the ball and ended up hurting himself?
Maybe it was a reaction to his strangest food take, which has been broadcast on the Yankee Stadium big board all year.
Yeah. That’s probably it.
No better time for a breather than the midsummer break, so King will have a few extra days to veg out while Cortes Jr. starts again Friday night in Houston.