Top New York Yankees Reliever In Question For Opening Day

He was invaluable to the New York Yankees bullpen in the first half of the 2022 campaign, but a fractured elbow ended the season of right-hander Michael King before the calendar turned to July. Now his status for opening day 2023 is in question. Chris Kirschner of The Athletic explains:

I’m told by a team source that King may not be fully ready to go by the start of the regular season. He has begun his throwing program and is progressing well in his return from the fractured elbow that ended his season in the summer. So at this point, it may be a tad bit optimistic to expect him ready to go by Opening Day.

King was dominant in his 51 innings, allowing just 35 hits, while posting a 2.29 ERA with a sizzling 11.6 strikeouts per nine innings, and a 66:16 K/BB ratio. The bullpen took a big hit when he went down. 

The 27-year-old will be heading into his 5th season in the Bronx when he is able to return. Kirschner says the Yankees view him as "one of the key players not only in their bullpen but the overall roster."

King's delayed start to the season will buy a little more time for arms like Albert Abreu to show what they can do. But with the news that King is "progressing well" on his throwing program, they're hoping they won't have to wait long for arguably the best reliever in their bullpen. 

Photo: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports