The New York Yankees are preparing for a tentative spring training start on February 17, but they have plenty of decisions left to make. General manager Brian Cashman has been working like a madman to bolster the starting pitching rotation and also secure an adequate bullpen, which is easier said than done.
The starting rotation has been hedged on quality players returning from injury, specifically Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon. As for Luis Severino, heâ€™s expected to return in late summer, so his impact on the 2021 campaign might not be as significant as we wouldâ€™ve hoped. The Yankees are also expecting Domingo German to make a return from suspension, but there is no guarantee he will be a part of the roster, despite previous assumptions he would be activated.
Several weeks ago, co-owner Hal Steinbrenner stated that he must feel comfortable with the progress German has made as a man before welcoming him back to the organization.
â€œI have to absolutely feel comfortable that he deeply, deeply regrets and is sorry for what he did, and I absolutely have to be comfortable with the fact that heâ€™s turned his life around,â€ Hal Steinbrenner said on â€œThe Michael Kay Showâ€ on ESPN Radio. â€œThose two things are for sure.â€
The Yankees put a lot of effort and time into upholding their stature as an organization. Cashman also reaffirmed Steinbrennerâ€™s comments during a zoom meeting this past week.
â€œHeâ€™s on the roster,â€ Yankees general managerÂ Brian CashmanÂ said Friday. â€œHeâ€™s going to be coming to Major League spring training and weâ€™ll have a sit-down in person conversation. We have connected with him clearly via smartphone. But weâ€™re going to meet in person when we get to Tampa, and weâ€™ll take it from there.â€
The New York Yankees could use German, but some things are bigger than baseball:
German is an intriguing player who could play a big part in the 2021 season. The last time he pitched was in 2019 when he earned a 4.03 ERA over 143 innings. He earned 18 victories with 9.63 strikeouts per nine. German was taking fantastic steps forward before a domestic abuse issue that was witnessed by an MLB employee. Domingo was immediately suspended for the remainder of the season and missed the entire 2020 campaign as a result.
While management needs to speak with German before welcoming him back, Cashman did state that German is doing well and his family is staying safe. These are all positive signs, but nothing is ever a guarantee.
â€œWe look forward to getting (German) back in the fold,â€ Cashman added. â€œI can report everythingâ€™s going well with him and his family, but weâ€™re obviously looking forward to meeting him and everybody else down in Major League camp.â€