Domingo German had a golden opportunity on Thursday to nail down a spot in the Yankees rotation. Instead, he may have blown his chance to make the team.
When Domingo German prepared to throw his first pitch against the Cardinals on Thursday he was in great shape to start the season as a member of the Yankees’ starting rotation. After getting shelled by St. Louis, he’s put his organization into a really tough spot.
General manager Brian Cashman and company were definitely hoping that German would pitch well in his last spring training outing. Doing so would have made it very easy to put him into one of the team’s two starting pitching vacancies to start the season.
Luis Severino won’t be ready to pitch until May due to injury and CC Sabathia will miss the start of the campaign due to injury and/or suspension.
Unfortunately, German picked a really bad time to have his worst outing of the spring. He gave up five earned runs in just 3.2 innings pitched which included three home runs by Cardinals’ hitters. German’s command left him right when he need it most.
He didn’t look as if he knew where his pitches were going for the majority of his outing.
Prior to Thursday’s outing the Yankees were hopeful that the inconsistent mechanics that plagued German last season were a thing of the past. He’d looked really sharp in his previous outings during the spring.
There was considerable optimism about his chances of starting the year in the rotation.
Now he might be lucky to start the season in the major leagues at all. Cashman, Boone and the rest of the team’s brain trust have several other pitchers they can choose instead of German. Luis Cessa looks like a lock to make the rotation after his exemplary working during spring training.
Jonathan Loaisiga might have the best stuff of anyone on the staff not named Severino or James Paxton.
There’s some question about whether or not Gio Gonzalez will be ready after just signing with the team this week, but there’s at least an outside chance he’ll be ready to go on Opening Day.
In the end it will likely come down a battle between German, Gonzalez and Loaisiga for the last spot. The decision may well come down to which player seems to be pitching his best baseball at the moment. If that’s the case, German is going to be headed to Triple-A.
Loaisiga was excellent in his last spring appearance and reports are Gonzalez looked sharp in his work during simulated games.
The good news for German is that he still has one minor league option available to him. That means he can go down to AAA and work diligently to refine his stuff. This could easily prove to be a minor setback for the talented right hander.
He’s likely blown a big chance to start the year with the Yankees, but he’s still got a great chance to finish the year with the big league club.