Michael King knows his role will be with the Yankees in 2022, just don’t ask him what it will be.
“Your guess is as good as mine,” the Yankees relief said with a smile after Friday’s 6-5 opening day win over the Red Sox.
In that case, manager Aaron Boone called on King to pitch in the 10th and 11th innings, and he got the Yankees through the extra two frames, earning the win in the process.
“I came here overall with no expectations and I’m ready in every inning, whether it’s the second inning or the 10th and 11th,” King said. “Big situations, small situations, I just go out there and do my best and hope to establish a role at some point.”
King gave up a run in the 10th inning when Xander Bogaerts went to left field to throw in ghost runner Jonathan Arauz. But that was the only punch he gave up. He hit three batters and came clean through the 11th inning to set up Josh Donaldson’s walk-off single at the end of the inning.
“King was great to finish it off,” Boone said.
The Yankees’ bullpen will play a crucial role early in the season after the truncated spring practice. Their starting pitchers are not stretched out yet, as evidenced by Gerritt Cole, who is retired after four innings on Friday. The Yankees need innings from the bullpen. In this case you used seven helpers.
He’s now a full-time reliever for King, having switched between starting and relief last season. He missed July and August last year after an unusual injury to his right middle finger sustained while lifting weights. Coming back he was an effective helper all the way through, something he now draws on.
“I actually think getting hurt wasn’t fun,” King said, “it sort of established me as a one- or two-inning guy outside of the collegiate, so I got to experience that role where I was.” it did. I didn’t have that earlier in the season. I was this tall guy, kind of a spot starter. I got a taste of it and every now and then a long relief. I feel like I’m more comfortable in these diverse roles.”
https://nypost.com/2022/04/08/yankees-reliever-michael-king-comes-up-big-in-new-role/ Yankees aide Michael King makes it big in a new role