Though the Yankees haven’t officially announced the winner of their fifth-starter competition, they silently made the decision Friday night when they demoted Deivi Garcia to Triple-A minutes before Gerrit Cole’s final tuneup.
That meant, unless the Michael King Lobby bribed the Steinbrenner family at the buzzer, that Domingo German’s comeback was complete, and the job was his — and he certainly deserved the honor after a sterling spring.
After battling his own demons and the repercussions of his actions through all of 2020 and the early part of spring training discourse, German looked rejuvenated instead of rusty, posting nine shutout innings with 13 strikeouts.
Despite our pre-camp inclinations, German was clearly among the five best starters in competition, and likely had the second-best performance of the bunch behind Cole.
All that’s left to do now is cross the t’s and dot the i’s to mark his ascendance back to the biggest stage, and as he’s wont to do, German got a bit emotional on social media Friday night.
This time, though, the message wasn’t cryptic or inscrutable. It was just a message of gratitude after having come so far.
Domingo German posted an emotional Instagram after nabbing a Yankees rotation spot.
German’s rehabilitation path hasn’t been at all linear, and featured several depressive scares during his year away from the game.
While the rest of the Yankees were working away at making the best of a 60-game season, German was in the Dominican Republic, often appearing to contemplate whether resuming his baseball future was worth it.
All of us are seeking a sense of normalcy this year, but German perhaps more than most, and he emotionally reacted to his latest big step forward on Friday as anyone would.
This doesn’t mean the end of Deivi Garcia in New York’s plans for 2021, though. While the Yankees won’t be trying an official six-man rotation, they did profess to be “leaning” on the starter they demoted. In essence, with flexible innings caps on basically everyone in the rotation, the youngsters (Garcia, Clarke Schmidt and even King) will get some play.
But the job, officially, is German’s, after much trepidation — all of which occurred before the month of March, when he actually stepped on the field and stepped up.
Credit where credit’s due. He took the opportunity offered.