The New York Yankees are having a rough September so far.
The club used a strong summer to catapult into a Wild Card spot in the American League, but the team is now holding on for dear life in the playoff race.
The Yankees have lost five straight and nine of their last 11.
They need to get things moving in the right direction as soon as possible.
Fortunately, the team could get a nice boost as soon as this week, as right-handed pitcher Michael King is almost ready to return from the injured list.
Michael King could rejoin the #Yankees later this week, Aaron Boone said.
— Bronx Bombers News (@NewsBronx) September 7, 2021
Here’s everything you need to know.
The Yankees Have Been Without King For More Than Two Months
King hit the 60-day IL over the summer due to a finger injury.
The righty dropped a weight on his finger during a lifting session, and the injury was serious enough to keep him sidelined for an extended period of time.
His last appearance came on July 3, meaning the Yankees have been without the youngster for more than two months.
The teams will certainly be happy to have him back with the playoff race heating up in the AL.
King Was Working On A Solid Campaign Before His Injury
The 26-year-old King was working on the best season of his young career before he was sidelined with the injury.
He managed a 3.72 ERA, 115 ERA+, and 4.12 FIP across 14 outings—six of which were starts.
In his six starts, he often struggled to pitch deep into games, but he always gave the Yankees a chance to win.
He allowed three runs or fewer in all but one of his starts.
During his outings out of the bullpen, he was better than he was as a starter.
The Boston College product posted a 2.29 ERA over seven relief appearances, limiting hitters to a .219 average and .647 OPS.
He was often used as a long-innings guy out of the ‘pen.
In fact, none of his relief appearances lasted just one inning.
Could he find himself thrust into a similar role when he returns?
A Long-Innings Relief Role Would Be Perfect For King Upon His Return
For more reasons than one, the best possible role for King when he returns is going to be as a long-innings reliever.
He posted his best results this year when he was pitching in that capacity.
Moreover, there likely isn’t going to be enough time left in the season for King to get stretched out as a starter.
It’s not worth the risk.
And besides, King could add a ton of value to this New York bullpen.
There will be plenty of close games the rest of the way where the Yankees will need multiple innings out of someone in their bullpen.
King is the perfect guy for that.
And if his recent rehab assignments are any indication, the former 12th-round pick is ready to pick up where he left off before hitting the IL.
— SWB RailRiders (@swbrailriders) September 8, 2021
It won’t be much longer until we’ll get to see King back on a big-league mound.