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Michael King talks MLB debut, being a Yankees fan, and pitcher-catcher relationship

Last week we had Michael King on The Bronx Pinstripes Show. You can give the full episode a listen below if you haven’t already.

The interview ranges in topics from his high school days, why he rooted for the Yankees as a kid, his debut, but most interestingly, his mindset and approach on the mound.

Growing Up

Fun fact: Mike and I grew up in the same Rhode Island town. It’s not everyday a local kid makes it to the majors, never mind the New York freakin’ Yankees, so I was pretty excited to talk to him about this. And like myself, he grew up a Yankees fan in enemy territory.

Pitcher-Catcher relationship

This part of the podcast was my favorite. In the clip below I asked King about Kyle Higashioka, the likely backup catcher for the 2020 Yankees. Not only did he have a glowing report of Higgy, but talked about his preparation and mentality on the mound.

MLB debut

After an excellent 2018 in which King advanced from High-A all the way to Triple-A, he was a non-roster invitee to spring training. Unfortunately he was sidelined with a stress reaction in his right elbow and spent much of the year rehabbing. King was called up to the bigs on September 19 but had to wait eight days before debuting on September 27 in Texas. We discuss what this wait was like, the mind-games bullpen coach Mike Harkey plays with young pitchers, and what he was thinking while running to a major league mound for the first time.

What’s next for King?

Because he missed a significant portion of the 2019 season, Mike did not take as much time off this winter and is currently throwing with an eye on pitchers and catchers reporting on February 11.

King is on the 40-man roster and projects to be one of the depth pieces the Yankees rely on for the 5th starter and bullpen. He’ll likely start in Scranton, but should see time in the majors depending on the Yankees’ need. He’s a ground-ball pitcher with plus control and an (admittedly) developing slider. When he does eventually get the call, he’ll look to build on his successful 2-inning debut appearance.