After everything that happened in the past, the New York Yankees decided to give pitcher Domingo German a second chance. He missed the whole 2020 season while serving a suspension for a domestic violence incident, but the team opted to move on after several apologies, public and private.
On the field, everything was going smoothly during spring training. He was missing bats with all of his pitches, and was destined to have a great start of the season for the Yankees. However, after two mediocre outings, he was optioned to the alternate training site because the team wouldnâ€™t need a fifth starter for a while.
He returned and had a pretty rough beginning to his outing against Cleveland on Thursday, giving up three early runs, but settled down to earn a quality start by hurling six innings with three runs (two earned) and six strikeouts.
For the season, his ERA stands at 6.23, with a 5.79 FIP and a much more decent 4.31 xFIP.
The Yankees would like to see him command the fastball
For German, the key will be fastball command. He can get whiffs with his mid-90s fastball, curveball, and changeup, but it wonâ€™t matter if he keeps leaving pitches in the fat part of the zone.
The Yankees had him work on his fastball command during his time at the alternate training site and hope to see better results. Yesterdayâ€™s outing against Cleveland was a good start, as he retired the final seven hitters he faced after the rocky beginning.
â€œYouâ€™ve got to stay calm,â€ GermÃ¡n said to MLB.com through an interpreter. â€œThatâ€™s what itâ€™s all about, executing pitch after pitch to find your rhythm. I think it was key for me that I was able to get some quick outs. That allowed me to go deep into the game.â€
The Yankees have a few options should German falter. Mike King has looked good, and Deivi Garcia is ready, for example. But they want German to succeed and claim the fifth spot for good, at least for now.