Yankees relief Michael King has a fractured throwing arm, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter connections). The team will know more after further testing tonight but Sherman adds the club currently expect the injury to end their season. King left tonight’s game against the Orioles with elbow pain and MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch tweeted Shortly after the game ended, the Yankees prepared to replace him on the roster.
Assuming further testing confirms the original diagnosis and schedule, the Yankees will play the remainder of the season without one of the league’s top assists. The 27-year-old was a terrific multi-inning weapon for skipper Aaron Boone, who completed 51 frames in 34 outs. King owns a sparkling 2.29 ERA with peripherals to match. He’s beaten an elite 33.2% of opponent hitters, induced groundballs with an above-average clip of 47%, and hit just 8% of opponents on foot.
The disappointing news is likely to increase the urgency of the front office to add to the late-game mix before the August 2 close, although anyone they acquire cannot reasonably be expected to replicate King’s production. Clay Holmes remains on hand as an elite weapon, but King has been a pivotal arm in bridging the gap between the starters and Holmes. He had mostly taken on a role in which Chad Green has performed well in recent seasons after the Yankees lost Green to surgery by Tommy John in May.
Jonathan Loaisiga and Aroldis Chapman were Boone’s other two primary lever arms. Both slingers have strong track records going into 2022, but neither has been good this season. Loáisiga has a terrible 7.45 ERA in 19 1/3 innings while Chapman has an untenable 17.2% walk rate and a personally low strikeout percentage of 24.7%. Wandy Peralta was a reliable groundball specialist from the left, but the right-handed group ahead of Holmes looks lackluster with Green and King sidelined and Loáisiga struggling.
There are always plenty of middle innings helpers available at the close, and general manager Brian Cashman and his staff expect to be scouring that market over the next ten days. old friend David Robertson and Mychal Givens (Boys), Michael Fulmer (tigers) and Anton Bass (Marlins) are among the shorter term veterans available while players like it Scott Barlow (Royal), Kyle Finnegan (nationals) and George Lopez (Orioles) have longer windows of remaining club control.
As for King, it undoubtedly comes as a blow that his breakout season is likely to end prematurely. He’d been a solid swing option last year, working over 63 1/3 frames to a 3.55 ERA, but this year’s rise was at a different level. King will be eligible for arbitration for the first time after this season and he is under control through the 2025 campaign.