New York Yankees: Michael King struggles in first spring start

New York Yankees, Michael King
Sep 4, 2020; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Michael King (73) throws a pitch in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

25-year-old Michael King is one New York Yankee pitcher who happens to be in the mix for a starting rotation spot. He spent a good portion of the off-season at the team facility in Tampa facing live batters and was handed the ball for the Spring Training opener. Unfortunately, King’s first Spring Training start did not go to plan.

Over two innings, King gave up three runs off three hits while walking two and hitting two batters.

Things started off well for King, as he was able to get Toronto Blue Jays lead-off hitter Cavan Biggio to fly out on the first pitch of the ballgame. A single from new Blue Jay Marcus Semien and a walk drawn by Bo Bichette put two runners on with one out in the first. After a flyout hit by Lourdes Gurriel Jr., King hit big Vladimir Gurrero Jr. to load the bases for Rowdy Tellez.

Tellez roped a 1-0 fastball down the line for a ground-rule double, giving the Blue Jays an early 2-0 lead. Two runners remained on for Danny Jansen, but King was able to work out of it with a grounder to Gleyber Torres.

Much like the first inning, King was able to get a quick first out in the second with a Josh Palacios liner to Mike Tauchman in center. Then, on a 1-0 fastball, King clipped Jonathan Davis in the elbow, hitting his second batter of the day. Davis stole second, then Biggio doubled to left to drive Davis home.

King would then ring up Semien on three pitches and walk Bichette before ending his outing with a groundout to Torres.

Although it’s his first start of Spring Training, this outing from King may put an early wrinkle in his chances of making the team once camp breaks.