The New York Yankees have recalled Domingo German from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The club is trying to avoid sending Masahiro Tanaka to the disabled list, and in doing so, bumped Chad Green into the rotation, leaving a void in the bullpen.
German will fill that void. So, who is he?
The 24-year-old has become one of the forgotten Yankees prospects. That is more due to injuries than talent, however. German now has his chance to show what he can do in a bullpen role.
German was signed by the Miami Marlins out of the Dominican Republic, making his professional debut at the age of 17 in the 2010 Dominican Summer League. He showed good strikeout stuff and decent command from day one and improved at each step up the ladder. He put himself on the prospect map with a 2014 breakout in the Sally for Greensboro, going 9-3 with a 2.48 ERA over 25 starts. He struck out 113 and walked just 25 over 123.1 innings.
Just a few months later, German was dealt to the Yankees in the Nathan Eovaldi deal. While many were excited to get the flame-throwing Eovaldi into the big league rotation, German was arguably the most enticing piece of the trade.
He then, of course, got injured in his first spring training with the Yankees. His first season with his new team was a wash, losing the 2015 year to Tommy John surgery. He returned in 2016, but to just 10 starts, five apiece in the Sally and Florida State League. German didn’t throw more than 78 pitches in any start, and he had well more than a week to prepare between each one.
Simply put, the differential between the prospect German was on paper versus what he was on the mound was still relatively unknown.
German got off to a nice start in 2017, getting his first taste of Double-A ball. He posted a 3.00 ERA and 1.27 WHIP behind a 38-to-10 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 33 innings pitched at Trenton. It earned him a quick promotion to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre where he has performed equally as well. German is 4-3 in four appearances (three starts), striking out 9.3 per nine and walking 2.4 per nine. His last three starts have seen him strike out 21 and walk four over 19.2 innings.
German is good size, standing at 6-foot-2 and 175 pounds. He should excel in a limited bullpen role behind two quality pitches. He is all about the fastball, which hits in the mid-90s with relative ease, and when he is locating it, he is a force. His mid-80s change up adds to the deception of the fastball. His breaking ball — primarily a slider with some nice drop — is an effective swing-and-miss pitch, but still somewhat inconsistent, perhaps limiting his role to the bullpen. German’s success in Yankees Stadium, should certainly be helped by a career ground out/air out rate above 1.00,
The right-hander was an easy choice. While many want to see Chance Adams get his big league debut, German is being called upon to serve out of the bullpen, a move that would seemingly hinder Adams development. He was also already on the 40-man roster, which Adams is not. Nothing needed to be shuffled in what may be a quick cup of coffee in The Show.
No one in the Yankees bullpen is seemingly along for the long haul. Expect German to head back to Triple-A soon, where the Yankees will then have to decide on which way his future will go. You can also expect German to be a permanent rider of the Scranton Shuttle for the rest of the season.