The New York Yankees will start the 2020 season without pitcher Domingo German. German was suspended for 81 games for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy on Thursday. The suspension is retroactive to Sept. 19, when he was first placed on administration leave, and thus German will miss the first 63 games of the 2020 season, according to Hannah Keyser of Yahoo Sports.
— Hannah Keyser (@HannahRKeyser) January 2, 2020
German reportedly slapped his girlfriend following teammate C.C. Sabathia’s charity gala last September. After the incident, he was placed on administrative leave. He will not appeal the suspension, which includes his participation in an evaluation and treatment program. He will also make a contribution to Sanctuary for Families, a New York City-based nonprofit organization that aids victims of domestic violence.
The suspension is the longest under MLB’s domestic violence policy for a player who wasn’t formally charged. It surpasses Addison Russell’s 40-game suspension in the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
“My office has completed its investigation into the allegations that Domingo Germán violated Major League Baseball’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “Having reviewed all of the available evidence, I have concluded that Mr. Germán violated our Policy and that discipline is appropriate.”
The Yankees also issued a statement, saying, “We remain steadfast in our support of Major League Baseball’s investigative process and the disciplinary action taken regarding Domingo German. Domestic violence — in any form — is a gravely serious matter that affects every segment of our society. Major League Baseball has taken the lead in our industry to make domestic violence awareness and prevention a priority, and we will continue to back those efforts. We are encouraged by Domingo’s acceptance of his discipline, and we sincerely hope this indicates a commitment to making a meaningful and positive change in his personal conduct.”
German was 18-4 with a 4.03 ERA last season. He also made three relief appearances. The earliest that German can return to the Yankees in June 5.
German’s suspension won’t have a big impact on the Yankees. The big question is whether he will be part of the rotation or the bullpen when he returns. The Yankees had moved German to the bullpen last year prior to the domestic violence incident. Keeping this in mind, as well as the signing of Gerrit Cole, German will probably be in the bullpen when he returns.
The Yankees’ rotation includes Cole, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, and James Paxton. The Yankees also have J.A. Happ and Jordan Montgomery available. There is no room in the rotation for German. The only way that German will be part of the rotation is if someone gets injured.
With the Cole signing, the Yankees are the presumed favorites for the World Series this year. The German suspension won’t have a big impact and isn’t a big loss for the Yankees. The Yankees will be just fine without German because they have other great pitchers.