The New York Yankees have a history with screwing up good times with certain pitchers. Remember Joba Chamberlain? Phil Hughes? Most recently, it’s been Deivi Garcia and Luis Gil. One could argue Chad Green, too!
Sometimes, they even hang onto guys for far too long despite a lack of positive production. Evaluating personnel isn’t easy, but the same problems seemingly persist, at least throughout the last 10 years of Yankees baseball.
But now that a number of arms such as Nestor Cortes, Jonathan Loaisiga and Michael King have finally found their footing, the Yankees need to learn from their past mistakes — do NOT mess with their roles. At all. No excpetions.
Those three can provide a cost-effective core for years to come, but perhaps King is the most important of the bunch at the moment since he’s the least talked about. Cortes is everyone’s darling and considered the team’s unofficial ace. Loaisiga is the future closer (even though his usage right now doesn’t suggest it).
But King? He was a failed starter and source of frustration because of his first-inning struggles, especially last year. Now … surprise surprise! Some fans want the right-hander back in the rotation.
To that we say: no. Absolutely not. WHY would you think that’s the move? Why “fix” something that’s very much not broken?!
The Yankees better not mess with Michael King right now
- As starter – 0-5, 6.52 ERA, 1.66 WHIP in 10 games (38.2 innings)
- As reliever – 4-1, 2.95 ERA, 1.11 WHIP in 27 games (64 innings)
Night and day. King has a filthy offering but it appears it’s most lethal in short spurts and anytime outside of the first inning. Does it make sense? Not exactly. If King’s stuff is that good, he should be effective in any capacity, but that’s not how it always works. Why can’t Aroldis Chapman ever pitch more than one inning? Don’t know! Just doesn’t happen.
King’s niche might be this multi-inning relief role and that’s just fine. It might not be the most glorious job, but it’s way more important than most people realize.
At the moment, King is 1-0 with a 0.84 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 0.27 FIP and 18 strikeouts in 10.2 innings of work. Those numbers will not remain steady for an entire season, but this is hands down the best he’s pitched in his entire career, and all the more reason to roll with the hot hand in the same situations that call for his contributions.
Easy one to not mess up, but it’s not our choice. We’re just hoping Aaron Boone and Matt Blake see it this way, too.