By Chris Kirschner, Brendan Kuty and Eno Sarris
Yankees right-handed pitcher Domingo Germán was ejected in New York’s 6-3 win over the Blue Jays on Tuesday. Here’s what you need to know:
- Germán was checked by each referee before the fourth inning and it was determined that he had an illegal substance on his hand.
- The 30-year-old pitched three scoreless innings with two strikeouts before the ejection.
- Germán spent each of his six MLB seasons with the Yankees, compiling a career ERA of 4.34 and a 28-24 record.
- In a swimming pool report maintenance after the match, team manager James Hoye said Germán’s hand was “the stickiest hand I have ever felt”.
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What this means for the Yankees
Germán came under scrutiny for excess sticky stuff on his hand just over a month ago during a start against the Twins where he struck out a career-high 11 batters in 6 1/3 of sleeves. Germán was allowed to continue pitching on this outing after the referees allowed him to wash his hands.
The Yankees said it was rosin, which is legal unless overused or misapplied. Now Germán will be suspended for 10 games after being sent off in Tuesday’s game.
The Yankees won’t be allowed to replace Germán on the roster, though they can easily nominate relief pitcher Ryan Weber for assignment and call up a minor league starter if they choose. Because the Yankees have the day off next Monday, the team may just skip Germán’s spot in the rotation next time.
Luis Severino could make his season debut on Sunday after throwing 55 shots while in rehab Tuesday night. —Kirschner
More reason to worry?
Also, reliever Ian Hamilton left the game with two outs in the third inning. Hamilton left with a coach – a bad sign.
The Yankees have yet to say what’s wrong with Hamilton, but they can ill afford to lose the 27-year-old right-hander. He was a revelation. Added to big league spring training as an unlisted invitee, Hamilton entered Tuesday with a 1.27 ERA in 15 appearances, with his funky “slambio” break ball leading the way.
The Yankees bullpen has already been devastated by injuries to Jonathan Loaisiga, Tommy Kahnle and Lou Trivino. The starting staff was also a wreck. They need the news on Hamilton to be good or else general manager Brian Cashman will have to dig deep into his Triple-A roster for a replacement.
“I think (Hamilton) is going to be down for a little while,” manager Aaron Boone told reporters after the game. “We’ll see. I think he’ll go back to New York. —Kuti
What can Germán’s turnover rates tell us?
Germán’s spin rates didn’t increase noticeably – they were well within the normal game-to-game variation, at least, up about 50-60 rpm from his seasonal average when A standard deviation between starts for pitchers is closer to 150 rpm – and that indicates why using spin rates alone isn’t a great way to enforce the ban on sticky stuff.
We know he had to wash his hands before, but we don’t know what he was using and when. Therefore, there is no easy baseline for a pitcher to establish. If you looked at the turnover rates for his start today alone, you wouldn’t have flagged Germán for further inspection. — Sarris
What they say
“Her hand was clearly shiny on her palm and fingertips,” Hoye said. “The instant I looked at his hand, it was extremely shiny and extremely sticky. It’s the stickiest hand I’ve ever felt.
“It wasn’t rosin… I smelled hands with rosin and it definitely wasn’t rosin. It was extremely sticky. Rosin is usually a bit sticky. It was sticky. My fingers struggled to break away from his palm.
“It’s obviously not OK,” Boone told reporters. “We’re also talking about – what’s the line? He’s tough. He’s been in the crosshairs a bit. He’s gotten to a level that they didn’t think was good. Ultimately it’s Domingo’s responsibility to make sure we’re in a better position there… The reality is that we should all have a pretty good idea of what the line is, and apparently Domingo crossed it tonight.
When asked if the stuff was rosin like the Yankees said about his April start against Minnesota, Boone said, “I think it was the same thing. Look, they’re still comparing hands and of course there won’t be anything else. There will be no tactics. I don’t know what the line is. He just said it was too sticky. That was the explanation. »
Germán provided the following explanation through an interpreter: “Just a bag of rosin. There are two types of rosin bags. You have a rock and a sand. I use the sand one. Since the last a few games ago they mentioned I wasn’t using it enough on the mound. Tonight I used it on the mound and that was it.
“I also wanted to say that I have to apologize to my teammates and my team. I put them in a difficult position, understanding how much the bullpen has been used. I put them in a difficult situation.
(Photo: Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)