Yankees: Domingo German continues to make the most of his opportunity
On Tuesday night Domingo German delivered another outstanding performance to lead the Yankees to a 7-2 win over the Seattle Mariners.
Backed by four home runs from the Yankees offense German went seven strong innings allowing one earned run on two hits against a very powerful Mariners lineup. It marked the third straight strong outing from German and his third consecutive start with at least nine strikeouts.
When German replaced the injured Jordan Montgomery in the starting rotation back in early May I don’t think anybody could have predicted he would be this good. German was a lower tier prospect when the Yankees acquired him in the Nathan Eovaldi deal back in 2014 but since his arrival to the organization, he’s proven to be another hidden gem found by GM Brian Cashman.
German made his first big league start back on May 6th throwing six no-hit innings against the Cleveland Indians but he really struggled over his next three starts. He was prone to giving up home runs and he pitched to a 9.42 ERA from May 12th to the 28th. Despite his struggles, Aaron Boone stuck with the 25-year old rookie and since then he has really emerged as a reliable option every fifth day. With each passing start, his confidence has grown and more and more it looks like German belongs in a big league rotation.
In June, German has a solid ERA of 3.86 but each start has been better than the previous. What’s impressed the most has been his ability to strike hitters out at a high rate. He has 31 K’s this month in 25.2 innings and on the season he leads the Yankees starting staff with 10.74 K’s per nine innings. That’s a tick higher than staff ace Luis Severino’s 10.73 rate which speaks to the kind of stuff German is sporting every time he takes the mound.
On Tuesday German looked as good as he has up to this point showcasing three plus pitches to overpower a dangerous Mariners offense. At one point he retired 20 straight batters after a leadoff double to open the game. His fastball control was on point at 96-97 mph and his slider and changeup were just as effective to put hitters away.
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As German continues to make the most of his opportunity it makes you wonder if it’s absolutely necessary that the Yankees go out and acquire another starting pitcher before the trade deadline. The answer is likely still yes because it makes sense that the Yankees at least look for another veteran starter to boost their postseason rotation.
However, if German can stay on the path he’s on right now who knows if anybody brought in via trade would be a better option. He’s still a rookie so he’ll probably experience some more ups and downs, but the potential for something really good is there and he deserves to stay in the rotation. Even if they do add another starter in the coming weeks.
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Whether that will lead to German getting the ball in a playoff start remains to be seen, but it might be something to consider as he continues to improve. At the very least he has secured his spot in the starting rotation and moving forward he could be a real wild-card in the Yankees chase for a division title.