The Yankees are giving Domingo German a chance to “resurrect his career,” Aaron Boone said Wednesday, but the pitcher may still have some work to do besides proving himself on the mound.
As German returns from an 81-game suspension for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy, one of the more important voices in the Yankees clubhouse was asked how he would receive the right-hander back.
“That’s tough question,” reliever Zack Britton told reporters Thursday via a Zoom from Tampa. “I don’t think he owes anything to me. I think it’s off the field stuff that he needs to take care of. Sometimes you don’t get to control who your teammates are, and that’s the situation. I don’t agree with what he did. I don’t think it has any place in the game or off the field at all.”
“My job is to go out there and pitch and do my job. So that’s kind of what my concern is right there. But [German] doesn’t owe me anything. I think that’s something that he’s going to have to deal with on his own and make better choices going forward.”
The 28-year-old German went 18-4 in 2019 before being placed on administrative leave that September following an alleged domestic violence incident.
Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said last October that he needed to “feel comfortable that [German] deeply, deeply regrets” what he did and see that German had turned his life around for the team to bring him back.
While Boone said Wednesday that German would not be guaranteed anything this spring, he also had a talk with him Thursday about his recent social media snafu. German sent a cryptic message on Instagram on Wednesday night that said, in Spanish, “everything is over,” before deleting all his previous posts and sending a new one in which he said he was ready.
“He and I had a conversation today about that …I don’t feel like I’m in a position to tell somebody how they’re going to express themselves or whatever,” Boone said Thursday. “So certainly we’re paying attention to that stuff. First and foremost, we want to make sure that Domingo’s in a good place.
“Feel like when I first heard about it last night and saw it, it was brought to my attention, I was taken aback a little bit and immediately concerned. But I do feel like maybe a little bit out of context. A little bit overblown. And I am confident that he’s doing fine and doing well and ready to compete.
“But it is something we’ll continue to watch and as best we can try and make sure he’s in a good place. But I had the conversation about trying to be as smart and choosy as we can be about some of the things we’re expressing publicly.”
In another Instagram post Wednesday night, the 28-year-old German wrote, “back to the playing field. Thanks God for everything.”