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Monday, March 8, 2021

Yankees’ Zack Britton on Domingo German: Can’t Control Who Your Teammates Are

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New York Yankees pitcher Zack Britton throws to a Toronto Blue Jays batter during the eighth inning of a baseball game in Buffalo, N.Y., Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

Adrian Kraus/Associated Press

The New York Yankees welcomed back Domingo German to the organization ahead of spring training after the starting pitcher served an 81-game suspension from Major League Baseball for violating the league’s domestic violence policy. 

German missed the entirety of the 2020 season, and fellow pitcher Zack Britton didn’t seem enthused to see him returning to the team.

“I think sometimes you don’t get to control who your teammates are and that’s the situation,” he told reporters. “I don’t agree with what he did. I don’t think it has any place in the game or off the field or at all.”

Yankees manager Aaron Boone offered a somewhat different take Wednesday. 

“We feel like he’s in a good place coming in and now it’s on him to go out and kind of resurrect his career and compete for a spot on this team,” he told reporters.

German, 28, went 18-4 in 2019 with a 4.03 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 153 strikeouts in 143 innings and looked like a solid starting pitcher going forward for the Yankees. He’ll likely compete for a starting spot in the rotation behind Gerrit Cole, Corey Kluber, Jameson Taillon and Jordan Montgomery. Luis Severino may also return at some point this season following Tommy John surgery.

Major League Baseball investigated German for allegedly slapping his girlfriend in Sept. 2019. He was not arrested and there was no police report; rather, a third party reportedly informed MLB of the situation. 

As for how German will be received by his teammates, that remains to be seen.

“I don’t think he owes anything to me,” Britton told reporters. “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 he doesn’t owe me anything. I think that’s something he’s going to have to deal with on his own and make better choices going forward.”

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