The Yankees aren’t worried about Domingo German’s winter performance

New York Yankees, Domingo German
iJul 20, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Domingo German (65) pitches against the New York Mets during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Even after adding Corey Kluber via free agency and Jameson Taillon via trade, the New York Yankees know they will have to rely on depth guys more than other teams. That way, they can improve their chances of having their best starters healthy, locked, and loaded for a hypothetical postseason.

Domingo German is part of that equation. The problem is that he represents a risk himself. Not because of injury, but instead, because he hasn’t pitched in major league baseball games since September 2019. He missed the 2020 campaign because of a suspension for a domestic violence incident.

He will, however, be a part of the rotation for the Yankees in 2021, at least for the first couple of months until Luis Severino is ready to return. To keep his spot after that, though, he will have to perform.

He didn’t get off to a good start, if we consider his performance pitching with Toros del Este in the Dominican League, LIDOM.

The Yankees were just happy to see him pitch after a long layoff

In five starts there, he had a 7.16 ERA in 16 innings. He handed nine bases on balls, struck out 18 batters, and finished with a 1.59 WHIP. Considering the small sample size and the long layoff, it wasn’t a complete disaster. The Yankees know that.

“While German’s velocity ticked down as his workload increased in Winter Ball, it was to be expected after the long layoff,” Yankees’ pitching coach Matt Blake said to Sweeny Murti of WFAN.

“Regardless of his results in winter ball, getting back into competition was really important and getting some quality work in between his outings, just starting to get back into the flow of being a baseball player again and everything that demands. We need to continue to see just him working and showing up with a good bill of health and making sure he’s doing all the right things off the field, but I think he could slide right into the middle of the rotation like he did in 2019. It’s just a lot boxes we have to check before we get to that point,” Blake explained.

The Yankees, therefore, still have high hopes for German for the 2021 season, and are taking his winter performance with a grain of salt.