Domingo German had a dream bounce-back start for the Yankees on Saturday. Facing the Minnesota Twins, the veteran righty allowed one run in 6.1 innings with no walks and a career-high 11 strikeouts.
Except that wasn’t the story of German’s outing. That occurred in the middle of the third and right before the top of the fourth inning. Umpire crew chief James Hoye had a lengthy discussion with German, the Yankees’ team translator, and manager Aaron Boone.
Cut to Twins manager Rocco Baldelli getting very angry and subsequently ejected. If it sounds confusing, it’s because it was. German had been checked several times for illegal substances, but to no avail. What was going on?
Twins manager Rocco Baldelli got ejected after umpires checked Domingo German for substances and allowed him to stay in the game
German has pitched four perfect innings with eight strikeouts so far pic.twitter.com/hou6oxqu5L
— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) April 15, 2023
It turns out the big to-do was all about…rosin. Pitchers have used rosin bags for years to keep their hands dry and get a better grip on the ball. Yet, as Joel Sherman of the Post reported postgame, Baldelli claimed he raised issue about the rosin in the third inning. German came out with more on his hand in the fourth, thus the controversy.
If you ask Boone, this is a non-issue. Domingo German always touches the rosin bag in the dugout before getting back on the mound, so what’s the problem?
If anything, the Twins were probably just caught off guard because German is rarely this dominant. Remember, he issued five walks in less than four innings in Cleveland in his last start on Monday. I even questioned his future with the team and those questions remain even after this start.
But on this Saturday afternoon, Domingo German owned the day. He generated plenty of whiffs on his curveball and changeup. Both his four-seam fastball and sinker were hitting the right spots all game.
It’s likely German won’t be in the rotation much longer with both Carlos Rodon and Luis Severino rehabbing their injuries. Yet, with an outing like this, maybe he can stick around as the long man in the bullpen.