On Wednesday, two additional roster spots will be given to every MLB team. What will the New York Yankees do with them for the month of September?
Great question. We’ve been trying to narrow it down as well, but it appears a wrench may have been thrown into whatever potential plans we’ve been envisioning.
Is … Michael King returning to this roster in the near future? On Tuesday, the Yankees announced the right-hander would be joining Gleyber Torres on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. That was fast!
The last we heard of King was that he was beginning a throwing program and then quickly joined Double-A Somerset for a bullpen session. Now, he’s skipping the line to Triple-A for a rehab assignment. Does that suggest he’s about to be added to the active roster?
Corey Kluber’s return saw Zack Britton moved to the 60-day IL and Albert Abreu optioned to Triple-A. Conventional wisdom would suggest the Yankees want more pitchers for September.
Let’s bake Torres into one of those spots. Does King have the other? Or do the Yankees want to roll with Luis Gil, who’s been unbelievable for them?
Could Michael King return to the Yankees roster?
It’s safe to say we’re not seeing Clint Frazier, Miguel Andújar and Domingo Germán again. We thought King would join them since he’s largely been unimpressive this year, but the fact of the matter is the Yankees are going to need guys to eat innings as they preserve their bigger arms for the postseason.
No, they won’t be punting games, but if certain matchups get out of hand, or they need a spot starter, King seems like the ideal fit to take the bump. That’s what his role has largely been with this team anyway.
Then you can factor in the hopeful return of Luis Severino, who will likely be utilized out of the bullpen assuming he gets back to full strength. That’s when Andrew Velazquez’s time in the Bronx will likely come to an end.
It’s upsetting because Velazquez has been one of the best feel-good stories in MLB this year, but the Yankees are going to opt for more arms whenever they can.
As for Gil, he made his last scheduled start at Triple-A on Aug. 29 and we haven’t heard anything since. He last pitched for the Yankees on Aug. 17. Perhaps the Yankees don’t want to mess with his progression and have him come out of the bullpen since the starting rotation is full at the moment (which is the reason Aaron Boone gave for why Gil isn’t with the team right now). Remaining as a starter in the minor leagues could be more beneficial to keep him on track for 2022 and beyond.
We never thought we’d be saying this, but Michael King has a very clear path to rejoining the Yankees for the month of September.