Baltimore – Having just outflanked the Orioles for a 7-6 victory, at Camden Yards, the Yankees’ minds were on curator Michael King, who was abruptly knocked out of Friday night’s game.
“It’s kind of a bleak mood here after the game,” said player Jameson Taeyeon as King checked his right elbow in the coach’s room amid concerns about a right-hand injury at the end of the season.
Late Friday, New York Post’s Joel Sherman reported that Kings’ initial reading was a fractured elbow and that he will miss the season.
If the Yankees (65-30) lose King for a long time, that’s a huge blow — it could make them even more powerful shoppers for relief assistance before the August 2 trading deadline.
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After Aroldis Chapman surrendered Homer’s three-run to Anthony Santander, cutting the Yanks’ lead to 7-6, King entered and retired the next hitters to finish the seventh inning.
King Rugend Odor retired to start the eighth race in Baltimore and threw a two-stroke 95 mph to shoot down Ramon Ureas before unleashing an 81 mph slide and jumping off the hill in palpable pain.
Keeping his right elbow tight to his body, King leaned at the waist and yelled at his glove before walking off the field to the club, accompanied by manager Aaron Boone and athletic coach Tim Lintic.
The Yankees have already lost a man of great influence to Chad Green, who was knocked out of a game on May 19 at Camden Yards with a strained forearm and later underwent the season that ended Tommy John’s surgery.
His right colleague Miguel Castro is currently on the list of injured for 15 days due to a strain in the right shoulder.
By Sunday, the Yankees could have Ron Marinaccio (right shoulder inflammation) back in their folds, after throwing a minor league rehab on Friday with Class AA Somerset.
By September, the Yankees expect veteran Zach Britton to be back in action, after rehabilitating from Tommy John surgery.
However, King, who sprinted to 2.29 ERA and refined the passer that Cory Klopper taught him to go with a fast, high-octane ball, is tough to replace.
“The same thing happened with Grey’s the last time we were here,” said Aaron Judge, who blasted two more home runs – No. 35 and 36 – in pursuit of Roger Maris’ 61-branded record. It was such a hunk of bulls (the king) for us, the work he does day in and day out to get to that position.
“One of our very influential players. It’s hard to see. He’s in our prayers, that’s for sure.”