John Sterling and Michael Kay reunited for this afternoon’s broadcast on YES for the first time in two decades. A little bit of nostalgia was heartwarming on this freezing day in New York, no?
If you missed the duo’s reunion, you’ll have another chance to catch them together on March 22nd. That one’s a 6:30pm ballgame, so work may not interfere for some of you like it may have this afternoon.
Sterling and Kay got to call a 4-2 win over the Phillies. Domingo Germán was sharp again, which I’ll expand upon in a moment. Giancarlo Stanton had another nice game too. He tallied two hits, both absolutely crushed (110 and 120 MPH exit velos), and drove in two runs. Gary Sánchez and Rob Brantly pitched in a couple of RBI singles as well. Not that Grapefruit League records mean anything, but this win was the team’s sixth straight, moving the Yanks to 10-4. Now, onto the big story.
The Big Story: Domingo Germán one-ups Deivi García
Another day, another strong performance for Domingo Germán*. With this afternoon’s four scoreless frames, the righty has yet to allow a run this spring across 9 innings. He’s also ran a 13-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and has only given up five hits. Germán’s outing comes on the heels of Deivi García’s fine start yesterday. The 21 year-old went three frames and allowed an unearned run.
Deivi’s certainly made a strong case, but he’s simply looking like the tough luck loser here. This is now the second consecutive start that German has pitched the day after García and put up zeroes. Sure, opening day is still two weeks away, so a lot can happen between now and then. Still, it’s hard to see Germán losing the job. He’s outpitched the competition, even if Deivi has given him a good run for his money. Besides, the fifth starter competition may not have been a real battle anyway.
As I wrote previously, the option to ease García into things at the Alternate Site probably gave German an edge in the first place. No need to load up Deivi’s innings in the early going given how important he is to this team’s long-term plans. Plus, García will be needed at some point this season. It’s not like he’ll go down for good. And as I mentioned on the podcast, I don’t think it’s service time manipulation either.
Workload management for Deivi aside, you can’t argue that he’s outpitched Germán anyway. Plus, German has another advantage in that he has experience in a relief role in the majors. Given the handful of April off days, the Yankees have already hinted at some flexible usage of the team’s fifth starter. We already know Germán can work in multiple roles.
*All this comes weeks after teammates (namely Zack Britton) sounded none to pleased about having Germán around. I guess as long as he pitches well, people are going to look the other way on his domestic violence suspension. We’ve seen that time and time again in the majors (with the Yankees themselves!), so it’s not really a surprise. Still doesn’t make it any less icky. As fans, we can hope that the league, team, and player are taking actual steps to make better. It’s just hard to be satisfied without knowing what’s happening behind the scenes. Nor is it easy to trust the league or team’s motives in these situations.
- Gary Sánchez took a foul tip off his glove hand today, but is fine. It happened during Aaron Boone’s in-game interview with YES. The manager told the broadcast that his hand “cramped up” and that he’s fine. Regardless: ouch. There’s a reason they call the catcher’s gear the tools of ignorance.
- A few injury updates to pass along: Robinson Chirinos will have surgery on his right wrist tomorrow and will need 4 to 6 weeks of recovery time. Miguel Andújar has a muscle strain and nerve issue in his right wrist, but no timetable has been provided for his return. Just the worst of luck for Miggy since 2018, huh. (Bryan Hoch)
- Zack Britton had his surgery today. (from Zack, himself)
- Luis Severino will throw bullpens twice weekly until he’s cleared to throw to hitters. He hasn’t starting throwing non-fastballs yet, but that could start relatively soon. (Hoch)