The Yankees made one roster change prior to the American League Division Series against the Rays, adding right-hander Michael King to give manager Aaron Boone a 14-man pitching staff.
King, 25, projects as an additional bullpen arm capable of providing length. He was 1-2 with a 7.76 ERA in nine games (four starts) for New York during the regular season. King started against the Rays in the second game of an Aug. 8 doubleheader at Tropicana Field, taking the loss after permitting three runs in 3 2/3 innings.
“With the potential now of five games in a row, we wanted to have a little bit of extra coverage there,” Boone said. “Michael King gives us some length potentially, but there’s some possibilities where he can get in there for some lanes that we like.”
Veteran catcher Erik Kratz was transferred to the additional player pool. The 40-year-old, a backup to Gary Sánchez and Kyle Higashioka who has also appeared twice as a knuckleballing reliever in blowouts, did not play in the AL Wild Card Series sweep of the Indians.
“It’s difficult when you’re fighting over those last couple of spots,” Boone said. “We’ve had the luxury of having that third catcher now for the last several weeks. Kratz has been such a huge part of this, so it was a tough decision, but ultimately I think having the extra pitcher was the way most of us wanted to go.”
As in the series against Cleveland, the Yankees will continue to carry first baseman Mike Ford, who offers a power-hitting, left-handed option and insurance for first baseman Luke Voit, as the Major Leagues’ home run leader has been hobbled by an unspecified foot injury.
Among those bypassed for the roster were infielder/outfielder Miguel Andújar, infielder Thairo Estrada and right-hander Clarke Schmidt, all of whom will continue to travel with the club throughout the postseason.
“Clarke was very much in the conversation, as well as a couple of other guys from a position player standpoint,” Boone said.
Here is the Yankees' roster for the ALDS:
Pitchers (14): Zack Britton, Luis Cessa, Aroldis Chapman, Gerrit Cole, Deivi García, Chad Green, J.A. Happ, Jonathan Holder, Michael King, Jonathan Loaisiga, Jordan Montgomery, Nick Nelson, Adam Ottavino, Masahiro Tanaka.
Catchers (2): Kyle Higashioka, Gary Sánchez.
Infielders (6): Mike Ford, DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, Gio Urshela, Luke Voit, Tyler Wade.
Outfielders (6): Clint Frazier, Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Mike Tauchman.
Additional player pool (12): Miguel Andújar, Rob Brantly, Ryan Buchter, Matt Duffy, Thairo Estrada, Erik Kratz, Brooks Kriske, Tyler Lyons, Jordy Mercer, James Paxton, Clarke Schmidt, Miguel Yajure.