With Domingo German in their starting rotation, the Yankees should reach the playoffs and win the World Series this season.
The Yanks are extremely fortunate to have Domingo German now officially on their roster. Among other reasons, Luis Severino, the team’s number two starter, will still be recovering from Tommy John surgery at the start of the 2021 season and won’t return until mid-season.
German was traded from the Miami Marlins to the New York Yankees in 2014. Following his successful recovery from Tommy John surgery in 2015, German competed hard to earn a spot in the Yanks’ starting rotation.
At 26 years old, Sunday (his self-selected nickname) blossomed in 2019 when he compiled a 18-4 record. The righty struck out 153 batters in 143 innings pitched and had a 4.03 ERA. His won-loss percentage of .818 was the best in Major League Baseball that year.
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Unfortunately, he has encountered serious self-inflicted bumps in the road. In Sept. 2019, MLB put him on administrative leave while investigating his involvement in an incident of domestic violence. MLB barred him for the remainder of the 2019 season while the league looked into the matter.
After completing the investigation in January 2020, MLB suspended him for the first 63 games of 2020. He was suspended for 81 games in total, the harshest punishment ever given a player due to domestic violence allegations.
Although initially hesitant to permit him to return to the team, Hal Steinbrenner recently concluded that German was now on the right path, and the owner is confident that he has matured and learned from his mistakes. Thus, Brian Cashman invited him to rejoin the team for the 2021 season.
Another domestic violence incident will undoubtedly lead to his dismissal from the New York Yankees and probably MLB, and deservedly so.
With Sevy still recovering from his elbow surgery and the return of Masahiro Tanaka uncertain, the Bombers desperately need German in the starting rotation if they hope to go deep into the postseason. After not pitching for 14 months, he returned to the mound last month to play in the Dominican Winter League. He has been sharp in a couple of outings and, assuming that he can return to his 2019 form once the regular season begins, would be a welcome addition to the club.
Sunday also is a terrific deal for the Bombers. His salary will only be $575,000 in 2021, and he has three years of arbitration ahead of him (2022-2024). German doesn’t become an unrestricted free agent until 2025, at which point he will be 32 years old. All in all, a nice situation for the team.
Having Gerrit Cole, Sevy, and German in the top three spots in the starting rotation will make the Yanks an even more formidable opponent. All three flamethrowers can strike out batters, keep games close, and go deep into games, thereby providing needed rest for the already strong but often overworked bullpen.
With Jordan Montgomery and Deivi Garcia rounding out the four and five slots in the rotation, it is hard to think of another team with equal starting pitching depth and talent, especially given the lights out quality of the first three starters at their peaks.
However, for added insurance and to fill in for Sevy while he is rehabbing, the Yanks should still make a concerted effort to add another solid starter either via free agency or trade before the 2021 season begins. Otherwise, the team will need to audition Michael King, Jonathan Loaisiga, and Clarke Schmidt to determine if one of them is now ready to become a starter.
Given the 40 man roster’s overall quality, 2021 should be the year that the Yanks reach the World Series and win their 28th championship. Assuming German can return to his excellent 2019 form, his addition to the rotation will make the team an odds-on favorite to dominate during the 2021 regular season and win it all.