2. Michael King
The announcement that former Yankees fifth starter Michael King had begun a throwing program surprised everyone on Tuesday night.
That’s great! And when that program has finished, he’ll be reassigned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Simply put, the Yanks have too many pitching possibilities to mess around with fixing King right now and attempting to turn him into a lockdown, two-inning option. He’ll be entrenched in the fifth starter competition next spring — or he’ll spend some quality time in the Gas Station — but for the remainder of this year, his transition would be better suited to Pennsylvania.
When last we saw King, he was a reliever moonlighting as a starter, yet never seemed able to hold the opposing team off the scoreboard in his first inning of work. Innings two through five? Much better. Much better. Sometimes, he’d even toss an immaculate frame in there.
As bizarre as this sounds, though, he seemed completely incapable of coming out of the gate firing. Right now, the Yankees don’t need a project like that.
Kluber’s going to need a few weeks to knock off the rust, at which point he could be an option for the fall. Severino, if he returns, will immediately be trusted to air it out in high-leverage opportunities. If one of them falters and halts their comeback, though, the Yankees would much rather have, say, Abreu and Kluber than King and Kluber. Maybe next year.