The Yankees announced a series of roster moves on Thursday evening, including two notable pitching prospects being sent down.
Right-handers Michael King and Ben Heller, along with infielder Thairo Estrada were optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, while right-hander Deivi Garcia was optioned to Double-A Trenton.
With the baseball world on pause amid the cornoavirus outbreak, MLB teams are still able to make transactions.
In four appearances this spring, King pitched to a 3.86 ERA and 1.39 WHIP in 9.1 innings. Garcia, meanwhile, pitched to a 7.36 ERA in three starts, though opposing hitters were batting just .214 against the young righty. Heller allowed two earned runs in 0.2 innings in his only work this spring.
As for Estrada, he was hitting .200 in 30 at-bats, not exactly putting himself in the best position to win a job on the Yankees' bench.
Both King and Garcia appeared to be in play for the Yankees' fifth spot in the starting rotation, but it looks like the club will look elsewhere to begin the regular season.
Jonathan Loaisiga and Clarke Schmidt remain on the major league roster, at least for now, and it's possible either of those two could be the fifth starter behind Gerrit Cole, Masahiro Tanaka, J.A Happ, and Jordan Montgomery. The Yankees could also go with an opener like Chad Green, as they did in 2019.
Of course, depending on how long the season is pushed back, it's possible that James Paxton could be fully recovered from offseason back surgery and be ready to join the rotation. Paxton has said he is hopeful to return in May.