The New York Yankees announced on Wednesday afternoon that starting pitcher Domingo German will be placed on the restricted list as he voluntarily undergoes inpatient treatment for alcohol abuse. “It is critical that Domingo completely focuses on addressing his health and well-being,” the team said in a statement. “We will respect his privacy as he begins this process.”
Statement from the New York Yankees: pic.twitter.com/kZhJETdr7x— New York Yankees (@Yankees) August 2, 2023
GM Brian Cashman told reporters that an incident took place yesterday that prompted this step, and that German isn’t expected to pitch for the team again this season.
Brian Cashman said that alcohol abuse is something Domingo Germán has had to deal with in the past. There was an incident that took place yesterday. Cashman said he would not provide details. “I’m worried right now for the person and the immediate family.”— Bryan Hoch ⚾️ (@BryanHoch) August 2, 2023
The 30-year-old righty was initially scratched from his scheduled start on Monday night against the Tampa Bay Rays with what manager Aaron Boone described as pain underneath his right armpit, only to eventually pitch out of the bullpen. Rather than make one more rehab start on Wednesday night, lefty Nestor Cortes will instead be activated off the IL this weekend to take German’s spot in New York’s rotation. German has pitched to a 4.56 ERA in 20 appearances (19 starts) this season for the Yankees, who enter play on Wednesday three games back in the loss column of the Toronto Blue Jays for the third and final AL Wild Card spot.
Signed by the Miami Marlins as an international free agent back in 2009 at just 16 years of age, German became a well-regarded prospect over the next few years before being dealt to New York in the trade that also brought Nathan Eovaldi to the Bronx in 2014. He participated in the Futures Game that same year, but Tommy John surgery would keep him out for the next year and a half.
German was back on the mound in 2016 and in the Majors by 2017, flashing potential while being shuffled between the rotation and the bullpen. It seemed like 2019 would be his breakout season, as the righty led all of baseball in winning percentage while posting a 4.03 ERA across 24 starts. But in September of that year, German was placed on administrative leave by MLB after his then-girlfriend alleged that he’d slapped her at a charity event and then later at became physically violent at their home. From The Athletic:
Germán was intoxicated and became physically violent toward his girlfriend until she hid in a locked room. The victim is said to have contacted the wife of another Yankees player, and the couple drove to Germán’s home late at night. The victim remained with the teammate’s wife, while the player attempted to calm down Germán, who is said to have been angry and belligerent.
The league suspended German for 81 games, sidelining him both for the rest of 2019 and for the entirety of the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. While manager Aaron Boone and GM Brian Cashman welcomed him back to the team in the spring of 2021, it divided the Yankees clubhouse, with reliever Zack Britton in particular having some harsh words when asked about sharing a locker room with German. Things smoothed over, and the righty put up a 4.17 ERA between 2021 and 2022. He got his chance to be a full-time member of the rotation once again this spring after injuries to starters Carlos Rodon, Luis Severino and Frankie Montas, and got off to a hot start — including throwing the 24th perfect game in MLB history in Oakland in late June — but has been inconsistent in July.