Michael King’s debut as starting pitcher holds promise

The pitcher of the New York Yankees

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In the face of mounting challenges and desperate circumstances, the New York Yankees are considering a strategic shift that could see reliever Michael King transition into a starting pitcher role, as stated by The Athletic. The move comes as injuries plague the team’s rotation and reliable options become scarce.

Known for his affable demeanor and unwavering commitment, King’s adaptability has been a hallmark of his career. Despite Manager Aaron Boone’s initial hesitation during spring training, recent events have forced the Yankees to reconsider their options. This decision materialized on a recent Saturday when the Yankees entrusted King to start a game against the Miami Marlins at loanDepot Park. The 3-1 loss further illuminated the team’s dire need for a solution.

Enthusiasm for a role change

Aug 12, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Michael King (34) throws a pitch against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at loanDepot Park.
Rich Storry / USA TODAY Sports

King’s own enthusiasm for the role change is evident. “There are numerous occasions when I can contribute significantly to the team, and being restricted to a pitch count of 45 limits my potential,” voiced King regarding this potential switch.

His debut as a starting pitcher didn’t unfold without challenges. King conceded two earned runs across two innings, striking out three but also surrendering four hits, including a two-run homer. Despite the less-than-perfect start, the Yankees are considering the move as a viable solution, given their current predicament.

Manager Boone, however, remains cautious about fully committing to the role change. “It’s more of an ‘if it becomes necessary.’ We need to consider the requirements for tomorrow, the day after, and the following days. Does it align with King potentially filling that role again?”

Both Boone and King are anticipating a two-day rest period for the right-hander before he takes the mound again. This timeline aligns with the Yankees’ potential need for King to act as an opener, providing relief for struggling starters.


The Yankees’ challenges this season are evident. Trailing by four games for the third and final wild-card spot with a limited number of games left, the team’s position is precarious. Injuries to key players like starting pitcher Domingo German, first baseman Anthony Rizzo, and Carlos Rodon have further weakened their roster. The need for a reliable solution has never been more pressing.

Aug 12, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Michael King (34) throws a pitch against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at loanDepot Park.
USA Today Sports

King’s versatility and prior experience as both a reliever and a starter make him a valuable asset for the Yankees. His breakout performance as a reliever in 2022, coupled with a strong showing in relief appearances this season, underscores his potential to excel in this new role.

As the Yankees strive to rectify their situation, transforming a dependable reliever into a starting pitcher reflects the team’s determination to explore all available options. With the season marred by challenges, the Yankees leave no stone unturned in their quest for a solution.

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