The Yankees Call Up a Surprising Old Friend to Swap Michael King

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Shane Greene and Clarke Schmidt are promoted to replace Michael King

Without Michael King in the second half of the 2022 season, the Yankees will have to do whatever it takes to assemble a bullpen worthy of a first-place team.

Their first swing on Saturday was completely unexpected.

Ultimately, New York will be looking for an outside replacement for King who is objectively their best or second best helper this season. However, Saturday’s squad reshuffle showed some of their best plans yet aren’t good enough following the King news.

The Yankees’ intention when demoting Clarke Schmidt was to stretch him out as an opener for the rest of the season whenever the team’s other options needed a blow. Now? He’s back and could be groomed as a multi-inning reliever in King’s absence.

Schmidt was the corresponding move for King’s trip to the 60-Day IL, but the team’s second attempt at filling the bullpen hole was far more unusual.

Outfielder Tim Locastro also returned to Scranton and was replaced by Yankee Shane Greene beginning in 2014. Greene was once treated to Didi Gregorius in the three-way trade. After brief stints with the Dodgers in 2021 and 2022, he returned to the Yankees‘ system mid-year and will now try out the Bronx for the first time since 2014.

Schmidt allowed just 16 hits and 12 walks in 24 big-league innings earlier this season, but his 4.07 FIP didn’t quite match his 3.00 ERA and 128 ERA+. Nonetheless, he demonstrated his unmistakable ability to wiggle out of jams, particularly in extra innings with a ghost runner in front of him. Schmidt has struck out 25 batters in 17.1 innings in five minor-league starts since his demotion, but his ERA is 4.15. In short, he’s been good, but not as good as the man he’ll be replacing.

Greene, a complete wild card, has struck out 31 batters in 28.2 Triple-A innings this season, but he has also walked 12 and given up 30 hits for a 1.47 WHIP.

Will his veteran knowledge be useful in the big leagues? Will he be used for anything other than mop-up duties during his first few weeks with the Yankees? A healthy Ron Marinaccio appears to be a better high-leverage option, and once his rehab is complete, he could replace either Schmidt or Greene before the deadline.

However, if both Greene and Schmidt find their niches, there is always the possibility of an eventful Aroldis Chapman DFA.

What do you think, leave a comment below?

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