Yankees’ Domingo German: Facing Uncertain Future with the Team?

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Apr 15, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Domingo German pitches in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, Yankees‘ Domingo German delivered another subpar performance on the mound, but the team managed to cope with it due to their outstanding offensive display. At this point in the season, it’s evident that German isn’t the solution for the Yankees. The issue is that the Yankees lack an alternative option that’s eagerly waiting for a chance. Nonetheless, the team cannot afford to continue fielding three out of their five starting pitchers in the rotation if they persist in underperforming.

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The Yankees’ rotation is far from ideal

Clarke Schmidt hasn’t been exceptional this year, although his last start was his most promising of the season. He pitched 5.2 innings, striking out eight and allowing three runs. Currently, Brito is not a starter, and the Yankees cannot continue to let him throw 80-90 pitches over minimal innings. He should be sent down once Sevy returns, allowing him to work on his out pitches and breaking ball.

That leaves German. Despite his outstanding start a few weeks ago, where he lasted 6.1 innings with only one run allowed and struck out 11, he hasn’t maintained that success. In his two subsequent starts, he has allowed 10 runs, issued four walks, and struck out 14 in 12.0 innings. German is simply not a great pitcher, only benefitting from occasional good starts.

German’s time to prove himself is limited

The Yankees may not be able to cut German immediately, but as more reinforcements arrive later in the season, it wouldn’t be surprising if his name appears on the chopping block. He has a 5.54 ERA and a 5.45 FIP in his five starts this season. Interestingly, he’s demonstrating some of his best swing-and-miss abilities with a career-best 11.42 K/9. German’s stuff might not fare much better in the bullpen, but that could be his next destination.

He isn’t suited to be a starter throughout an entire season. If he makes, say, 28 starts this year, it would indicate that something went wrong. His fastball lacks life, and when batters don’t chase his curveball, he’s left to throw changeup after changeup, hoping for the best. He’s also struggling with home runs, as his 28.0% HR/FB% is more than double his previous career-worst.

In short, the Yankees should actively search for pitching reinforcements. The team managed an impressive offensive display yesterday to prevent a sweep, but even when they were ahead by 10 runs, German couldn’t maintain it. He eventually allowed five runs after the Yankees scored 11, which is quite disheartening. While some fans might argue that he’s adequate as a number five starter, he’s currently the team’s number three. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to watch this back half of the rotation.