Coming into 2021, Michael King was not necessarily envisioned to be a big part of the Yankees’ bullpen. A 2016 Miami Marlins draftee, King came into spring training with just 28.2 major league innings under his belt, all with the Yankees and mostly in the shortened 2020 season. While his 2021 season, like much of the Yankees’ season, was up and down, King nonetheless showed growth and promise that the Yankees should hope to build on in 2022.
King made the major league roster out of spring training and immediately caught eyes – in his first appearance of the season on April 4, he tossed six scoreless innings in relief of Domingo German in a 3-1 loss to Toronto. Efficient and effective in that outing, he used only 68 pitches to get through the fourth through ninth innings, giving up one hit and striking out three.
He was optioned to the Alternate Site (RIP Alternate Site) after that outing, and after each of the two additional appearances he made for the major league club in April in more typical middle-relief roles. Despite logging frequent flyer miles throughout the early part of the season, King continued to impress, throwing 11 scoreless innings before giving up his first run of the season on May 13.