New York Yankees: Candidates for fifth starter role

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 15: Jordan Montgomery #47 of the New York Yankees prepares to pitch in the second inning during a MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on September 15, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 15: Jordan Montgomery #47 of the New York Yankees prepares to pitch in the second inning during a MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on September 15, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /

Mike King

Of all the options for the New York Yankees fifth starter spot, Mike King is easily the least heralded.

Acquired as part of the deal that sent Caleb Smith to the Miami Marlins, King rose steadily through the Yankees system, moving up through three levels to reach AAA in 2018. He then missed most of the first half of the 2019 season, as he had a stress reaction in his right elbow, and had a setback during his rehab.

Even with that injury, King was able to make his major league debut last season. He was the final player to make their debut in 2019, allowing an unearned run on two hits over his two innings, striking out one.

Given that King made only 11 appearances combined between the majors and minors last year, he would seem like a long shot to crack the Yankees rotation. However, an NL scout lauded King’s control, saying that he and Montgomery had the best control of the Yankees options.

It would be a surprise if Mike King ended up as the New York Yankees fifth starter coming out of Spring Training. Yet, if he has a strong performance and the other options struggle, he could get that chance.