Yankees lose star bullpen arm to season ending injury

New York Yankees, Michael King

The New York Yankees suffered a huge blow to the bullpen on Friday night as relief pitcher Michael King suffered a fracture in his right elbow. King has been one of the team’s best relief pitchers this season, pitching just one inning against the Baltimore Orioles after Aroldis Chapman gave up three consecutive runs, recording just one strikeout.

Because of Chapman’s inadequacies, manager Aaron Boone was forced to call upon King to help get them through the rest of the game. Scoring seven runs should’ve been enough, courtesy of two Aaron Judge homers, but they needed to rely on some of their more prominent relief pitchers to finish the game.

King features a 2.34 ERA this season over 50 innings, recording 11.88 strikeouts per nine with a 76.9% left on base rate and 48.2% ground ball rate. Aside from Clay Holmes, King has been the most reliable option in the Yankees bullpen. This is a monster loss as the team kicks off the second half of the year post-All-Star break.

Supplementing the loss of King will be no easy feat for general manager Brian Cashman, who will have to look to the trade deadline to make several moves to support the pitching unit. The Yankees still have eyes on Luis Castillo from the Cincinnati Reds, but acquiring a bullpen arm has become a priority with King going down.

The 27-year-old pitched 63.1 innings last year for the Yankees, recording is 3.55 ERA. Putting together a solid campaign, expectations were big for King, which he handled admirably. Unfortunately, he will miss the rest of the campaign and leave a gaping hole that needs filling.