Posted on September 19, 2019, by Bryan Zarpentine
It didn’t happen because of another injury, but the New York Yankees saw their roster thrown for another loop on Thursday. MLB announced Thursday that pitcher Domingo German has been placed on administrative leave via the joint MLB-MLBPA domestic violence policy. Details are scarce, but this brings into question German’s availability for the rest of the regular season and the upcoming playoffs.
There appears to be no public police report detailing any incident or allegations against German. However, MLB learned of an incident involving the 27-year-old German on Tuesday. Both MLB and the Players Union agreed that whatever happened was serious enough to place German on administrative leave. He can stay on administrative leave for up to seven days, although that time could be extended if the league and MLBPA agree that would be appropriate.
“We fully support all measures being undertaken by the Commissioner’s Office pursuant to the Policy on Domestic Violence,” the Yankees said in a statement. “We support this policy which reinforces that domestic violence has no place in our society and cannot be tolerated.
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“We have followed the lead of Major League Baseball and will continue to provide our complete cooperation throughout the investigative process. We reserve any further comment until the investigation reaches its conclusion. All questions pertaining to this matter should be directed to the Office of the Commissioner.”
MLB is reportedly making an effort to expedite its investigation into the matter. That means any punishment, including a suspension, levied against German could come before the start of the postseason. Assuming they clinch the AL East, the Yankees will begin the playoffs at home on October 4, which is two weeks from Friday. Obviously, it’s unclear at the moment if German will be reinstated by then or if any punishment handed down by MLB will prevent him being eligible to pitch for the Yankees in the playoffs.
Before going on administrative leave, it was a near certainty that German would have a role to play for New York in the postseason. He was New York’s best starter during the early part of the season, going 9-1 with a 2.60 ERA over his first 10 starts. German stumbled a little after a brief stint on the Injured List. However, he’s currently 18-4 with a 4.03 ERA in 24 starts and three relief outings.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone recently mentioned German as being capable of filling a multitude of roles for the Yankees in the playoffs. He could be used as a starter, a long man out of the bullpen, or even a late-game reliever who could pitch multiple innings. However, all of that is being put aside right now.
“This is something that, baseball aside, this is a bigger issue, obviously,” Boone said Thursday. “When you hear the words domestic violence, it’s one of those things that stops you in your tracks. I give Major League Baseball and the players’ association credit for doing their part in, several years ago, trying to be ahead of this and putting disciplinary action in place, hopefully being part of the solution to what is a problem in our society.”
What happens moving forward with German is unclear. There are simply no details about the allegations against him, making it impossible to predict the kind of punishment, if any, MLB could issue. The Yankees, of course, are in limbo with regard to one of their best pitchers. However, it’s not a stretch to say that the Yankees should start planning on being without German during the 2019 postseason.