BALTIMORE – The Yankees’ worst fears were confirmed Saturday, when they put Michael King on a 60-day list with a right elbow fracture.
Aaron Boone said he expects King out for this season.
The right-hander was hit by a throwback to Ramon Urillas in the eighth inning of Friday night’s Yankees win over the Orioles at Camden Yards. King was in New York on Saturday undergoing tests to determine if there was any ligament damage in addition to the fracture.
General Manager Brian Cashman declined to say whether King’s injury would affect his thinking as the August 2 trading deadline approaches.
“We’ll continue to evaluate the list, but King is a really important member of our office,” Cashman said. “Finally, I have from now until August 2nd.”
To help replace King at Bullpen, the Yankees called in Clarke Schmidt of Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. They also selected Tim Locastro to join SWB and signed right-wing Shane Green to a major league deal.
Greene, a 34-year-old right-hander who debuted through the Yankees system and landed at The Bronx in 2014, was also performing at SWB. He made one game on Saturday, conceding a two-round homecoming to Orias in a 6-3 loss to the Yankees.
Neither Schmidt nor Green could replace King, whom Boone called “one of the best painkillers in baseball.”
“He’s very good at the back end. ‘It’s definitely a hit and we have to absorb it,'” Boone said.
Entering the season, the Bulls Yankees have been the envy of most of the league, with a strong back end made up of Clay Holmes, Chad Green, Jonathan Loisiga and Wandy Peralta, and hope Aroldis Chapman recovers from an ugly 2021.
Then there was depth in the form of Miguel Castro (acquired from the Mets during spring training versus Julie Rodriguez) and Lucas Lutgue and King.
But the reality was different – especially recently.
With King out for the season, he joins IL that also includes Green, who is out this year due to surgery for Tommy John and Castro, who has been sidelined indefinitely due to a shoulder strain.
Chapman, while healthy, is no longer effective or reliable. And Loaisiga is nowhere near repeating the dynamic 2021 season.
The Yankees are still hopeful that Zach Britton, who had elbow surgery last year, will return at some point along the length of the field, but the return of the leftist was once considered a luxury.
To the Yankees’ credit, they’ve proven adept at finding and developing relief jugs – whether in under-the-radar deals (Holmes and Peralta), minor league deals (Luetge) or their own mini-leagues (Loaisiga and more recently Ron Marinaccio and Albert Abreu).
They will likely need more than one roster adjustment to replace King, not to mention Green and the uncertainty surrounding Britton.