New York Yankees pitcher Domingo German dominated in his winter league debut, marking his first game action since 2019.
He ultimately struck out seven over four scoreless innings.
Domingo German pitched four scoreless innings, striking out seven and walking one in his Dominican league debut tonight. First time he's pitching in a professional game since his domestic violence suspension. #Yankees
— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) November 17, 2020
German missed the 2020 season while serving a domestic violence suspension, and his presence on the mound was certainly missed. He led the team with 18 wins in 2019 and, not to mention, the Yankees rotation was really banged up in 2020.
And as of now, the rotation is as shaky as it’s ever been. Masahiro Tanaka and James Paxton are both free agents, and Luis Severino isn’t expected to return from his Tommy John rehab until June or July. That leaves Gerrit Cole alongside Jordan Montgomery, Deivi Garcia, Clarke Schmidt, and Michael King.
Not exactly the rotation of a World Series contender, no matter how good the offense is.
Fortunately for the Yankees, they expect Tanaka to return in 2021. That’s not enough though. The ballclub needs more rotation help, and if they’re not going to spend big in free agency, German’s return is the best they’re going to do.
Of course, the rotation could be in worse shape. Presuming everyone stays healthy — a tall order for the Yankees — German may not even be in the postseason rotation. He’ll be battling it out for the fourth spot with Montgomery, Garcia, and Schmidt. A front three of Cole, Severino, and Tanaka can compete with just about any rotation in the league.
But during the regular season, the Yankees are going to need German to be the guy he was in 2019. He won’t be an ace, but he’ll certainly be a stable presence.
And if anything sums up the shortcomings of the Yankees rotation in 2020, it’s instability.