The New York Yankees will be fighting through injuries during the beginning of the regular season which starts this upcoming Thursday. Fortunately, general manager Brian Cashman has allocated resources towards building out the depth on the roster to withstand injuries to the starting players.
In the case of the starting pitching rotation, manager Aaron Boone will need to look towards his youth products to fill the back-end as CC Sabathia, the expected 5th man, will be out for the next few weeks. One option that immediately comes to mind is 26-year-old Domingo German.
The third-year pitcher is a strikeout connoisseur – he ranked 9th best in the MLB last year in strikeout rate, generating a 20.08% and 18.71% whiff rate against batters. His ability to cause batters to swing and miss is exciting, but his fly-ball rate is the primary issue. He allows a lot of home runs – last season his fly-ball rate was 40.4%.
How has German performed for the Yankees this spring?
German started off Grapefruit League play with dominant performances before giving up a few runs later on. He finished with a 4.11 ERA in 15.1 innings pitched. He struck out 22 batters, allowed 7 earned runs, and 3 homers. With such a small sample size it’s difficult to project how efficient he will be during the regular season, but if his strikeout pitchers are active, he has one of the most deadly arms in baseball.
I feel as though he would be a great option to cover for Sabathia while he recovers and works through his pitching program. German is experienced with two prior years of live action, so he will not be a foreigner to the intensity and challenges imposed at the professional level.
Besides acting as a stop-gap for Sabathia, I anticipate German playing in a rotational/reserve role to lessen fatigue down the stretch. As long as the Yankees can catch him on his good days, they will be in good shape with German featuring on the mound.