Yankees reliever King suffers broken elbow, likely out for season

By Sports Desk July 23, 2022

The New York Yankees’ bullpen took a serious hit when the team announced on Saturday that right-hander Michael King has been placed on the 60-day injured list with a fractured right elbow, possibly ending the key reliever’s season.

Pitching in the eighth inning of Friday’s win over the Baltimore Orioles, King walked off the mound in discomfort immediately after throwing a slider, calling for his team's training staff.

The New York Post reported late on Friday that King’s season is over.

King, 27, was on pace for a career year in 2022, posting a 2.29 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in 51 innings out of the bullpen.

In his fourth year in the majors - all with the Yankees - King had settled comfortably into his role in the seventh and eighth innings, setting up breakout closer Clay Holmes.

The Yankees took advantage of relatively good health early this season and have an MLB-leading 65-30 record, but King's injury comes just a week after starter Luis Severino was placed on the injured list with a right lat strain.

The New York bullpen has posted an ERA of 2.96 this season, trailing only the Houston Astros (2.72), despite playing without Zack Britton, Miguel Castro and Chad Green.

Britton, who underwent Tommy John surgery last September will have a chance to return this season if his rehabilitation stays on track.

With King's injury coming more than a week before MLB's August 2 trade deadline, the Yankees could look to add pitching in hopes of making a World Series run.

The Pittsburgh Pirates' David Bednar and Chicago Cubs’ David Robertson - a former Yankee - are among the top relievers thought to be available at the deadline.

There is a chance, however, that New York keeps its bullpen intact, hoping for resurgent second-half performances from the likes of Aroldis Chapman and Jonathan Loaisiga, who have thrown just 20 1/3 innings each this season.

Chapman, formerly one of the game’s most imposing relievers, has a 5.75 ERA and has allowed at least one run in nine of his last 13 appearances.

Loaisiga was a breakout star in the Yankees’ bullpen in 2021, but his ERA has jumped from 2.17 last season to 7.52 this season.

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