The 2023 season has given us a lot of 'is it okay to like this guy again?' situations. The most obvious ones are huge stars like Fernando Tatis Jr. and Max Scherzer who were caught cheating, but there's some other people with murky events to recover from, like Tommy Pham, Josh Donaldson, Josh Hader and Sam Coonrod, and their success rates in coming back from whichever misdeeds varies. I think Donaldson is washing away some of his racist crap he threw at Tim Anderson last year, but he hasn't exactly won back Yankee fans yet. Anthony Bass was working on getting over his social media complaint on airline etiquette, then he managed to outdo THAT post in terms of tastelessness and got himself kicked off the Blue Jays.
And then we have Domingo German. Who was slowly reclaiming his reputation after the domestic abuse suspension, and now has to come back from a tack suspension as well. While also being one of the best starters in New York.
It's...a complicated situation. While the Yankees haven't especially let cheating in-house bother them before [I think we all collectively forgot about our own sign-stealing because the Astros did it A.) way worse and B.) against us], this is a few more levels of iffiness. German has been a good pitcher for us, and has certainly had his high points, but he's also been unloyal at several points, and has missed a ton of time due to suspensions for various crap. German was looking like the sixth man heading into 2023, but Rodon and Montas got hurt, then Severino started the season on the IL, and all of the sudden he was looking pretty good.
Through 11 starts, German has a 3.49 ERA and 64 Ks. I saw him pitch earlier this year, and while he gave up some runs early, he followed them up with sheer dominance and virtual indestructibility. He's just not as consistent as somebody like Gerrit Cole, who can go like 10 starts between really having a bad day. German isn't perfect, but right now he's really all we've got other than Cole. Clarke Schmidt is still struggling, despite striking a lot of people out. Sevy is back but he's still kinda shaky. Randy Vazquez is a cool rookie option but considering that Jhony Brito also had a strong start, I'm not convinced yet.
And that's really where we're at. Because so many people are injured, we really have to rely on German to stay strong, and I really wish we weren't in a situation where everything was riding on someone as unreliable as Domingo German.
It's a team-wide-struggle, too. Judge and Bader are out, and with Aaron Hicks in Baltimore, the outfield schematic currently consists of Willie Calhoun, Jake Bauers and either Oswaldo Cabrera or Billy McKinney. This is not the ideal outfield we thought we'd be powering through this season with. Yes, Calhoun and Bauers aren't doing terribly, but this isn't the idea squad to go into battle with, especially considering that the Red Sox have been chasing us lately. Once again, it's waiting for people to get back, and hoping we don't lose too many before they do.
Frustrating times for the Yankees, but we're not out of it yet.
Coming Tomorrow- The second-best former Oakland Athletic currently starting for the Braves.