Yankees right-hander Domingo German is nearing a return to the big-league club.
Germán began a rehab assignment for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders in Triple-A on Tuesday night and did not disappoint.
Germán, who has spent a majority of the season in the Yankees’ starting rotation prior to landing on the IL, tossed two shutout innings in relief, while allowing two hits and striking out four batters.
According to manager Aaron Boone, Germán will pitch out of the bullpen upon his activation since he is not built up enough to start games for them. This could come in either a long relief, or late-inning role.
“He won’t be built up enough to be a starter,” Boone told reporters prior to the Yankees-Orioles game on Wednesday night. “I mean, he could always open in a certain situation, but I envision him out of the ‘pen."
“He’s an outstanding pitcher, certainly with some of the issues we’ve had in having to deal with some injuries, he could find himself in a high-leverage one inning role, or on a given night: two-or-three innings,” he said. “He’s a guy we have a lot of confidence in, and obviously has a little bit of experience coming out of the bullpen too, so he’s pretty comfortable in that spot.”
As Boone went on to reveal, Germán will make one more rehab appearance over the weekend before rejoining the team. Germán has been out since August 1 with right shoulder inflammation.
Despite posting a 7.50 ERA in six innings, as a reliever this year, Germán has a 3.13 ERA out of the bullpen in his career, across 46 innings.
Due to the woes of the team’s bullpen as of late, particularly the struggles from closer Aroldis Chapman and setup man Chad Green, Germán might just become the late-inning arm that the Yankees desperately need.
When the Yankees lost hard-throwing righty Jonathan Loáisiga to a rotator cuff injury, it left another void in the ‘pen, which has had a scarcity of high-leverage pitchers ever since. Luckily, Germán could potentially be just that upon his activation, which is now looming.
There are a significant number of holes in the Yankees’ bullpen right now and having Germán as a reliever would mean they will not have to rely on lesser options as much, such as left-hander Andrew Heaney.
If Germán can regain some of the rhythm, which he had on the mound earlier in the season, he could be an X-factor in a disappointing bullpen, which will better the Yankees’ postseason chances down the stretch.
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