Yankees’ Zack Britton on return of Domingo German: ‘You don’t get to control who your teammates are’


Yankees right-hander Domingo German was with his teammates Thursday at spring training as pitchers and catchers reported for their first day of official workouts. German is returning to the team after receiving a domestic violence suspension and missing all of the shortened 2020 season.

Yankees reliever Zack Britton was asked about German’s return, and said it was a “tough question.”

“I don’t think he owes anything to me. I think it’s off the field stuff that he needs to take care of,” Britton said in a Zoom interview (via when asked about German returning. “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,” Britton added. “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.”

German received an 81-game suspension from Major League Baseball under the Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy for an incident that took place in September 2019. He still has three games remaining on that suspension. Under terms of his agreement with MLB at the time of the suspension, German agreed to not appeal the suspension. He also had to undergo evaluation and treatment, per the league policy in place. 

In 2019, German was 18-4 with a 4.03 ERA (111 ERA+), 1.15 WHIP and 153 strikeouts in 143 innings pitched. 

Once Luis Severino is full go from Tommy John surgery (which he had last February), the Yankees’ rotation could look something like: 

There’s also the possibility of Deivi Garcia taking rotation turns while Jhoulys Chacin and Asher Wojciechowski are non-roster invitees to spring training, not to mention the presence of youngsters like Clarke Schmidt and Luis Medina in the organization. 

Basically, German is getting a chance from the front office here to make good and stick in the rotation. If he does slip up, there isn’t really any baseball reason to keep him on the team, especially if there’s already at least one highly respected teammate who doesn’t seem too eager to share a clubhouse with him.

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