Could Domingo German find a spot in the Yankees rotation for 2018?
The offseason has been rife with rumors about the Yankees’ interest in practically every top free agent starting pitcher and/or starting pitcher on the market (and even some not on the market), including, Gerrit Cole (now signed with the Houston Astros), Yu Darvish, Alex Cobb, Patrick Corbin and most recently, Michael Fulmer.
To date, the Yankee rotation is unchanged from a year ago (Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Severino, Sonny Gray, CC Sabathia and Jordan Montgomery) when it ranked fifth in the league in ERA with 3.72. Given the limitations every starting rotation faces, the Yankees will certainly find a need for a sixth starter to fill the void if an injury occurs to one of the starting five.
As the team’s current number 20 prospect, 24 year old RHP Domingo German clearly has promise and specifically, promise as a sixth or seventh starter for the Yankees this season. His rise through the Yankee system has been swift and steady, despite having Tommy John surgery in 2015 and being out the entire season. When he returned to the mound in 2016, he impressed the Yankees enough to start him in Double-A Trenton.
During his time in the minors in 2017, he maintained an impressive 2.88 ERA with a 9.8 strikeout rate and 2.8 walk rate over 109.1 innings between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
German debuted with the Yankees on June 11, 2017 and, in the course of the season, was recalled to the big leagues on four different occasions – including a late September call-up. He appeared in seven games with the Yankees, mostly in mop up duty during blowouts. In that time he still put up some impressive numbers, throwing 14.1 innings and posting a 3.14 ERA while only giving up 11 hits with 18 strikeouts and a 1.40 WHIP.
According to BrooksBaseball.com, German throws:
Four-Seam Fastball - 97 mph
Curve - 82 mph
Change - 89 mph
Sinker - 97 mph
Brooks Baseball describes German’s fastball as having "well-above-average" velocity and a sinker that “is thrown at a speed that’s borderline unfair.” PinstripedProspects.com describes his delivery as “smooth and easy,” and says that his best secondary pitch is his change-up which has radically improved over the last couple of seasons. Rob Terranova of PinstripedProspects.com
reports that German has corrected the control issues which had plagued him early on in his career.
ZiPS has issued it’s projections for the Yankees for 2018 and below are the projected rankings for the projected 6-10 pitchers on the staff:
6. Chance Adams: +1.4 WAR in 132.2 innings
7. Domingo German: +1.0 WAR in 113.1 innings
8. Domingo Acevedo: +0.7 WAR in 117.1 innings
9. Justus Sheffield: +0.6 WAR in 99 innings
10. Luis Cessa: +0.3 WAR in 115.2 innings
German is ready to pitch for the Yankees in the Bronx. He has the tools to strike out big league hitters and, along with fellow right-hander Chance Adams, has the +1 WAR projection to prove it. What a luxury for the Yankees to have two +1 WAR pitchers stashed away and ready to join the team and make an impact on the starting rotation in 2018.
German will have to battle it out with Adams, Chad Green and Luis Cessa, among others from within the organization to win a place in the starting rotation. Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman has said that Green will get an opportunity to start in spring training, but he will surely be challenged by German and the rest of the corps of impressive young arms on the Yankees’ 40 man roster. German has plenty of upside to make the battle for the back-end rotation spots interesting.
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