For just a moment on Thursday, the focus regarding Domingo Germán transitioned back from off the field to on the mound.
A few days after publicly apologizing for his domestic violence suspension, addressing his teammates and the media in a span of 48 hours, the right-hander faced hitters in his first live batting practice of the spring.
Germán was on the bump for five at-bats. He allowed a couple hard hit balls but eventually settled in, getting Giancarlo Stanton to ground out and Clint Frazier to strike out swinging on a pretty breaking ball.
"Domingo was good, I thought he was sharp and mixed his pitches as well," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "I thought he worked his fastball on both sides of the plate, both the two-seam and the four-seam. So good day for him."
As much as Germán is still working to regain the trust of his teammates, rejoining the club this spring for the first time since September of 2019, the 28-year-old has a legitimate shot at making the Yankees' starting rotation.
Remember, this is a starting pitcher that led the team in wins (18) two seasons ago, posting an impressive 4.03 ERA in a breakout season. Even if he's looked good at camp so far, showing he's in good shape and can still shove, it's too early for Boone to grasp exactly where Germán stands in the competition for starts this year.
"That's a year and a half ago when he was at the top of his game and there's nothing that suggests he can't get back to that point, to being that kind of player," Boone said. "I would also caution that we're very early in the game as far as him working his way back, but so far I've liked what I've seen."
By no means will one 20-pitch simulated game secure Germán the fifth spot in the staff. Besides, he's competing with the likes of Deivi García, Michael King, Nick Nelson and non-roster invitee Jhoulys Chacín, right-handers that have all impressed at camp thus far.
While Germán continues to take strides off the field, having the hard conversations with his teammates and doing his best to show that he's maturing with his actions, his goal is to earn a spot on this team.
"What I want to do now is concentrate on what I love, which is to pitch," Germán said Wednesday through the team's interpreter. "My goal is to work hard and retake my career. It has always been my dream to pitch in the major leagues. And I am so thankful to still have that dream in front of me."
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