Yankees right-hander Domingo German is back with his teammates at spring training after pitchers and catchers reported to camp last week. German is returning to the team after receiving a domestic violence suspension and missing all of the shortened 2020 season.
Yankees reliever Zack Britton was asked about German's return, and said it was a "tough question."
"I don't think he owes anything to me. I think it's off the field stuff that he needs to take care of," Britton said in a Zoom interview (via nj.com) when asked about German returning. "Sometimes you don't get to control who your teammates are, and that's the situation. I don't agree with what he did. I don't think it has any place in the game or off the field at all."
"My job is to go out there and pitch and do my job," Britton added. "So that's kind of what my concern is right there. But [German] doesn't owe me anything. I think that's something that he's going to have to deal with on his own and make better choices going forward."
German received an 81-game suspension from Major League Baseball under the Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy for an incident that took place in September 2019. He still has three games remaining on that suspension. Under terms of his agreement with MLB at the time of the suspension, German agreed to not appeal the suspension. He also had to undergo evaluation and treatment, per the league policy in place.
On Sunday, German postponed a scheduled conference call with reporters, instead announcing he plans to speak to his teammates before talking publicly. German released the following statement through a team spokesperson Sunday:
"It is important to me that I have the opportunity to speak directly with my teammates, both individually and collectively, and address them face to face before I speak to the media and our fans. This process has begun. But more time is needed. Especially since half our team has yet to report to spring training. I recognize that speaking publicly will be an important step for me. And I will do so in the upcoming days."
German reported to spring training this past Wednesday with the rest of the Yankees' pitchers and catchers. The team's position players are scheduled to report Monday.
In 2019, German was 18-4 with a 4.03 ERA (111 ERA+), 1.15 WHIP and 153 strikeouts in 143 innings pitched.
Once Luis Severino is full go from Tommy John surgery (which he had last February), the Yankees' rotation could look something like:
There's also the possibility of Deivi Garcia taking rotation turns while Jhoulys Chacin and Asher Wojciechowski are non-roster invitees to spring training, not to mention the presence of youngsters like Clarke Schmidt and Luis Medina in the organization.
Basically, German is getting a chance from the front office here to make good and stick in the rotation. If he does slip up, there isn't really any baseball reason to keep him on the team, especially if there's already at least one highly respected teammate who doesn't seem too eager to share a clubhouse with him.