Posted on: May 18, 2023, 08:38h.
Last updated on: May 18, 2023, 08:38h.
New York Yankees starting pitcher Domingo German earned a 10-game suspension for violating the MLB’s foreign substance rule.
German was ejected from a game against the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday when umpires found a sticky substance on his hand. German insisted he was using rosin, which is permitted according to the rule book to get a better grip on the ball.
New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer had a similar incident with umpires in April. Scherzer also denied accusations and said he was sticky due to rosin and sweat. He was still tossed anyway, and also earned a 10-game ban.
German becomes the fourth pitcher to get banned since the MLB began cracking down on foreign substance violations in 2021. Hector Santiago from the Seattle Mariners, and Caleb Smith from the Arizona Diamondbacks were both suspended in 2021.
German in Sticky Situation
The Yankees led 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre in Toronto. German did not give up a hit, and struck out two batters through three scoreless innings.
First base umpire DJ Reyburn inspected German’s hands and glove when he stepped on to the field. Home plate umpire James Hoye also looked at German’s hands while Yankees manager Aaron Boone joined the inspection.
The instant I looked at his hand, it was extremely shiny and extremely sticky,” Hoye said. “It’s the stickiest hand I’ve ever felt. My fingers had a hard time coming off his palm.”
“It was definitely just the rosin bag,” German told reporters after the game. “It was sweat and the rosin bag. I don’t need any extra help to grab the baseball.”
“It was definitely not rosin,” added Hoye.
Despite the ejection, the Yankees won 6-3.
German and Hoye had a previous run in during a start in April against the Minnesota Twins. Hoye inspected German in between innings and noticed German had some rosin on his pinkie finger. Hoye told German to clean his hands before letting him remain in the game. German led the Yankees to a 6-1 victory against the Twins.
In nine starts this season, the right-handed German posted a 2-3 record with a 3.75 ERA and 0.90 WHIP.
Short-Handed Yankees Lose Another Starter
The Yankees will not be able to replace German on the roster. They will be limited to 25 players instead of a 26-man roster due to his suspension. Since he’s a starting pitcher, German will only miss two starts during his 10-game ban.
“Not ideal, but nothing has been ideal about the start of this season,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone.
The Yankees are allowed to send relief pitcher Ryan Weber down to Triple-A and call up a replacement if they need a spot starter.
Losing German for two starts is just another bad beat for the Yankees. The Yankees’ starting rotation has been stretched thin in the first quarter of the season due to injuries. Three starting pitchers — Carlos Rodon, Luis Severino, and Frankie Montas — began the season on the IL. Montas is expected to miss the entire season while recovering from shoulder surgery.
The Yankees signed the left-handed Rodon to a juicy free agent contract in the offseason, but he has not pitched a single inning this year. He initially went to the IL with a forearm issue, but his debut was delayed when he sustained a back injury during his rehab. He underwent a couple of cortisone shots last week, and began light throwing activities. In a best-case scenario, Rodon could join the Yankees in early June.
A lat injury sidelined the right-handed Severino since Spring Training. The good news is that the Yankees expect Severino will make his season debut this weekend against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Fourth-Place Yankees Not in Bad Shape
If you glance at the standings, you’ll find the Yankees in fourth place in the AL East and 7.5-games out of first place. If you dig deeper, you’ll notice that all five teams in the division have a winning record. Even the last-place Boston Red Sox are four games above .500 at 24-20.
The Yankees might be in fourth place in the AL East, but they’re sixth overall in the American League. Only the Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays, and Houston Astros have a better record. Three of those teams just happen to be division rivals.
The Yankees also have the tenth-best record in all of baseball. Only three National League teams — Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, Arizona Diamondbacks — have more wins than the Yankees.
Considering the Yankees have been decimated with injuries to key position players and their pitching staff, they’re not doing that bad in the bigger picture. Slugger Giancarlo Stanton is close to returning from a hamstring injury, and outfielder Harrison Bader is hitting .300 with three homeruns and 12 RBI in the 15 games since his return in April.
The Yankees are +1200 odds to win the World Series, according to Fan Duel. They’re a worthy value pick at +700 odds to win the AL Pennant. The Yankees are also +500 odds to win the AL East as the third-highest team on the futures board trailing the Rays (-180) and Blue Jays (+350).