New York Yankees pitching prospect Michael King is ready to take the next step.
The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders starting pitcher is taking his rehab to Low-A Staten Island, after appearing in three games with Gulf Coast League Yankees West. King is scheduled to throw four innings for Staten Island on Thursday.
“Everything’s great,” King told Pinstriped Prospects Monday afternoon. “My arm and elbow have been great. Haven’t had any hint of the feeling I had earlier in the spring. I’m confident I’m totally healthy now.”
Thursday will mark the first time King, who suffered elbow discomfort in a February bullpen session leading up to spring training, has thrown for more than three innings this season.
The right-hander went an inning on just seven pitches in his first outing with Gulf Coast League Yankees West on July 3 before throwing 31 pitches over 1.2 innings in his first start of the season on July 15. King made his third and final appearance for the GCL Yankees West on Saturday, giving up two runs on two hits.
After struggling with his command in his July 15, walking a pair of batters and giving up a run against the GCL Tigers West, King was able to bounce back on Saturday. Despite giving up a couple of runs in three innings of action, the 24-year-old struck out a season-high six batters with just 41 pitches against the GCL Blue Jays.
“My command needs to improve,” King said. “During my two-inning outing, I was all over the place. My last one I was in the zone, but not pinpoint like I like to be. Once I get the command to where I like it, I’ll start focusing on my off-speed pitches.
“With all the technology it’s a lot easier to understand how I’m manipulating my pitches, so I’m hoping it helps those.”
King finished his three-game stint with the GCL Yankees West with a 4.76 ERA in 5.2 innings.
After a stronger outing on Saturday, King is excited to take the next step in his rehab as he hopes to join the RailRiders in August.
“I felt really good. Had command of all my pitches and felt fluid in my motion,” King said. “If I had my way, I would’ve thrown 100 pitches because I felt great after. I wasn’t tired at all. But, I still have to follow the progression.
“It’s a lot easier once I started throwing in games again because I was finally able to get back on my routine. It’s monotonous early, but once I started to compete again, it made the time go by a little faster.”