ST. PETERSBURG — Just before first pitch on Tuesday night, the Yankees placed right-hander Michael King on the 60-day injured list.
After the game—a 4-3 victory for New York against the Rays—manager Aaron Boone provided some clarity as to why the 60-day IL was a necessary step for King and his middle finger contusion.
"It's no throw for another week, which would be four weeks. So then you're talking about at least a four-week build up from that point," Boone explained. "So I think it was just going to be something that was cutting it close."
The right-hander initially got hurt in what Boone called a "freak accident" when King's finger got jammed between two weights during a lifting session. King was promptly placed on the 10-day injured list on July 8, a move that was retroactive to July 5.
Earlier on Tuesday, Boone mentioned that King visited with a hand specialist, learning that the injury wasn't believed to be anything serious. That doesn't mean he's ready to start working back yet, though. It's going to take some time.
Since King needs to ramp up after being unable to throw for the last several weeks, the decision to advance King to the 60-day makes sense. He'll be eligible to return in early September, giving him those four-plus weeks to build up his arm again once he's cleared to begin throwing.
King has pitched in 14 games this season, making six starts and tossing a total of 48.1 innings. The 26-year-old has posted a 3.72 ERA in that span, a massive step in the right direction after pitching to a 7.76 ERA in nine appearances during last year's shortened campaign.
While the right-hander's goal to eclipse the 100-inning mark this season won't come to fruition in 2021, it certainly seems like he'll still be able to contribute down the stretch.
If he can get a clean bill of health and return to this club in the final month of the regular season, he may be called upon right away to pitch in some big, must-win ballgames with playoff implications.
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