The Yankees have a couple of holes to fill in their rotation as we inch closer to the 2020 season, but is Mike King the best option?
At the start of spring training, I don’t think anyone expected that we would need one of the young guys to take the fifth starter spot. Sadly after the news of Severino undergoing Tommy John surgery, The Yankees are in need of a fifth starter until Paxton returns. While there are several in house options, one stands out from the others. Here are three reasons why Mike King should be the fifth starter.
There are a lot of people to pick from, including Deivi García, but King has already pitched in the majors and while it was only for two innings, he is ready to take on the job. García just isn’t ready for it, as he hasn’t spent much time in Triple-A and when he did he struggled. Coming into spring training, King was one of the guys that had a chance to make the MLB roster as a bullpen arm, so he was already being considered to make the team. King right now is just the obvious choice when it comes to experience.
Low walk rate
When it comes to the back end of the rotation starter, you are just looking for the guy to go out there and give you around five innings. King is not a flame thrower, he won’t light up the radar gun. What he gives you is a good pitch mix of movement. Because of that, he features a two-seam fastball which he controls well. In his last full season in the minors, which was 2018, King walked only 29 batters in 161 innings. His job as the fifth starter is to just keep the team in the game and not giving free passes will really help.
Keeps the ball in the yard
One of the biggest things for pitchers making the jump from Triple-A to the majors is that will they be able to keep the ball in the yard. We don’t know what ball we will be getting this year and the juiced ball was just crazy. In his career, King has always limited the long ball. Again in his last full season, King only gave up eight home runs in 161 innings across four minor league levels. If Paxton comes back around early May, then King will get a start or two at home and he will need to keep the ball in the park.
Overall, King is the best option to take that fifth spot as he has the stuff to get the job done.