Give the New York Yankees credit where it is due: they did a reasonably successful job clearing the dead weight off their 2021 roster ahead of the brand new season that may never come.
Did they fill any of the holes they created? Absolutely not! But hey, that’s a May problem.
Just because the Yankees sliced a few issues off their 40-man roster to accommodate some top prospects — who are now stuck in limbo, by the way, unable to play in the majors or minors — doesn’t mean they did a full, thorough evaluation based on who deserves to wear the pinstripes again in 2022.
Nobody loves a debate about who has and hasn’t earned their pinstripes like Yankee fans, right? We’re going to go ahead and add road grays to the equation, too. We’ve seen enough from all four of these folks to know it’s just not going to work out this year in the Bronx.
Now, caveat: we really like some of these people, and wish them well! Just because it hasn’t worked out in the Bronx doesn’t mean it won’t work out elsewhere, and we’ll be rooting for it.
Now, additional caveat: we really don’t like some of these people, and we do not wish them very well moving forward (though we are sure their MLB careers will continue beyond the Yankees’ boundaries).
These four people in the Yankees organization shouldn’t be in New York when the season opens, even though they likely will be.
4 Yankees who don’t deserve to be in NY in 2022
4. Domingo German, RHP
Enough is truly enough from Domingo German, whose 2019-torpedoing actions at a public charity event likely should’ve ended his New York script, but somehow haven’t.
German was suspended for 81 games at the tail end of the 2019 season under the domestic violence policy, and returned to the Yankees, despite our better judgment, to begin 2021. He apologized, and the team made it clear they would prioritize mid-level pitching depth over everything.
True to form, German performed perfectly averagely — occasionally quite well, occasionally quite terribly — in a number of roles in 2021. He did just enough to justify his place on an MLB roster without extenuating circumstances, but the Yankees can certainly upgrade his swingman spot based on performance alone.
German’s defining moment of 2021 was his seven-inning no-hitter in mid-July at Fenway Park that swiftly turned into a one-hitter, and then a 5-4 loss, in the blink of an eye. That was the third-to-last game German pitched on the year, pushed too far coming off so much inactivity.
He struck out 98 men in 98 innings. He occasionally twirled spectacular breakers and kept hitters off balance for entire starts (mostly in Baltimore), but would usually fall back to earth in his very next outing.
And, after his most memorable moment, he was basically gone.
We understand the Yankees will use the same excuses they did last year to keep him — you don’t just cut controllable pitching, we’re a little short anyway, etc. — but he’s been average since Day 1, and his baggage remains. A contender can do better.