December 9, 2022

Yankees reliever Michael King fractures his elbow on the field in costly win over Orioles

BALTIMORE — After outlasting the Orioles to win, 7-6, at Camden Yards, the Yankees’ spirit was on the reliever Michael King, who abruptly left Friday night’s game.

“Kind of a dark vibe here after the game,” starter Jameson Taillon said as King had his right elbow checked in the coaching staff’s room, amid fears the right-hander had suffered a season-ending injury.

Late Friday, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that the initial reading on King’s x-ray was a elbow fracture and he will be out for the season.

If the Yankees (65-30) have lost King for an extended period, it’s a blow — one that could potentially make them more aggressive in getting help ahead of the Aug. 2 trade deadline.

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After Aroldis Chapman returned a three-run homer to Anthony Santander, cutting the Yanks’ lead to 7-6, King came in and retired the next two batters to end the seventh inning.

King retired Rougned Odor to start Baltimore’s eighth and fired two 95mph sinkers for strikes against Ramon Urias before unleashing an 81mph slider and jumping off the mound in obvious pain.

Keeping his right elbow tight to his body, King bent at the waist and shouted into his glove before leaving the field and entering the clubhouse, accompanied by manager Aaron Boone and the athletic trainer in chef Tim Lentych.

New York Yankees relief pitcher Michael King, center, is groomed by a coach during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Friday, July 22, 2022, in Baltimore. King left the game with an injury. At left is New York Yankees wide receiver Jose Trevino. The Yankees won 7-6.

The Yankees have already lost a high-leverage setup man in Chad Green, who left a May 19 game at Camden Yards due to a strained forearm and later underwent season-ending surgery. Tommy John.

Fellow right-hander Miguel Castro is currently on the 15-day injured list with a sprained right shoulder.

By Sunday, the Yankees could have Ron Marinaccio (inflamed right shoulder) in their bullpen, after pitching a scoreless minor league detox inning Friday with Class AA Somerset.

By September, the Yankees expect veteran left-hander Zack Britton to return to their bullpen after recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Still, it’s hard to replace King, who threw a 2.29 ERA and refined the slider Corey Kluber taught him to go with a high-octane fastball.

“I saw the same thing happen to Greenie the last time we were here. It’s never good,” said Aaron Judge, who threw two other homers – our 35 and 36 – in pursuit of the record Roger Maris’ franchise of 61. “Especially how great a piece of the bullpen (King) has been for us, the work he puts in day in and day out to get to this position.

“One of our high leverage guys. It’s hard to see. He’s in our prayers, that’s for sure.”

This article originally appeared on Yankees reliever Michael King suffers a broken elbow on the field