Domingo German has endured a lot so far during his seven-year career but is happy to be on the doorstep of a major league call-up. German was signed out of the Dominican Republic by the Miami Marlins in 2010 at the ripe age of 17 and was acquired by the Yankees in a deal with Nathan Eovaldi and Garrett Jones.
In his first year in the Miami Marlins organization, German pitched in the Dominican Summer League and was strictly coming out of the bullpen. In 2011 he stayed in the Summer League and pitched beautifully. This time around German was mainly used as a starter.
The 25-year-old right-handed pitcher missed the entire 2015 season with a torn ligament in his elbow which forced him to get the dreaded Tommy John surgery.
“When it was happening I was very frustrated. I have several friends in the big leagues that I reached out to and hearing their advice brought me calmness.”, said German. “I see it as a thing of the past, and the thing they kept telling me was that injuries and surgeries are an unfortunate part of our game. As of right now, it is behind me, and I am looking forward.”
When the 2016 season started, German was sent to Charleston RiverDogs and impressed over his five starts, holding hitters to a .167 batting average over 26 innings pitched. He struck out 18 batters and walked 11.
German continued his 2016 campaign with the Advanced-A Tampa and pitched well over his five starts. Though not earning a win, German pitched to a 3.04 ERA and struck out 20 batters in his 23.2 innings.
When the 2017 season started German was assigned to Double-A Trenton. While with the Thunder he accumulated 38 strikeouts in 33 innings pitched. German at times struggled with his command, issuing ten walks during his time at Trenton.
German was then promoted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on May 18th and has started three games for the RailRiders. While pitching into the seventh inning in all of his outings, German has been susceptible to giving up runs.
“He feels comfortable. We have seen some good life on his fastball. I thought his breaking ball was better.”, said manager Al Pedrique. “It was a matter of time for him to feel comfortable and be able to realize he can pitch here and get hitters out. We are going to give him as much as a chance as we can to stay up here as long as he gets the job done.”
His best start with Scranton came on May 24th, on the road versus the Columbus Clippers. German went seven innings, giving up just three hits, on the way to striking out ten batters.
“He’s got a high ceiling. He is going to need to control his emotions but who doesn’t? The kid has unbelievable stuff.”, catcher Eddy Rodriguez said. “The fastball is obviously there but what is special about him is the ability to have the confidence in his changeup which he will throw in any count. The development needs to take more, but he is going to be able to do some special things up in the big leagues.”
So far with Scranton, German has logged 20.2 innings and has pitched to a 4.35 ERA. While the numbers show a lack of consistency, Rodriguez believes that it would be unfair to give German that label.
“On the consistency, I would say it’s getting your routine down and making every day the same.”, said Rodriguez. “Knowing how to prepare, I think that part is what I want out of all my pitchers to just be consistence with how they prepare for a game and not ride the highs, and ride the lows.”
While German’s fastball sits in the mid to high 90’s, he understands that his off-speed arsenal is vital to his success moving forward. He is also working on his control, knowing that he cannot give major league hitters free passes.
“I am making sure I am consistency in the strike zone with my pitches.”. said German. “I understand that at the big league level guys are more patient.”
German is on the 40-man roster which makes his dream of becoming a big leaguer a more likely reality. His development, for now, will continue in Scranton but someday soon he may be getting the call he dreamed about as a kid in the Dominican Republic.