TAMPA, Fla. (AP) New York Yankees pitcher Domingo German has started the process of talking to teammates about his domestic violence suspension that’s kept him off the mound since September 2019.
German was 18-4 with a 4.03 ERA in 2019 when he was put on administrative leave while Major League Baseball investigated an alleged domestic violence incident involving his girlfriend, with whom he has at least one child.
“It is important to me that I have the opportunity to speak directly with my teammates, both individually and collectively and address them face to face before I speak to the media and our fans,” German said in a statemen released by the Yankees on Sunday.
“This process has begun but more time is needed, especially since half our team has yet to report to spring training. I recognize that speaking publicly will be an important step for me and I will do so in the upcoming days,” he said.
The Yankees’ first full-squad workout is Tuesday.
“It’s a very serious issue,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “It’s a very serious thing that went on and certainly an unacceptable thing that went on.”
“When we talk about Domingo addressing certain situations, it’s important to me that he comes to that place authentically on his own and not because I’m telling him to,” he said. “As these couple of days have unfolded, I feel like we’re in a better place moving forward but we’ve still got a ways to go.”
German had been scheduled to hold a zoom session Sunday with reporters but that was pushed back.
The 28-year-old right-hander missed the final nine games of the 2019 regular season and all nine of New York’s postseason games. He was suspended for 81 games on Jan. 2 last year, a ban that had 63 games left and cost him the entire 2020 season and playoffs.
German made waves his first day back with Yankees on reporting day Wednesday because of an Instagram post he wrote in Spanish that said “Everything is over.” He deleted his posts, then wrote, “I’m ready” in Spanish.
“I think first and foremost, my role is to support but also listen to a number of different voices in the room and really get a feel of the situation,” Boone said. “We’ll see how this unfolds over the coming days. They are going to be important conversions, important days. The proof is going to be in the behavior and how he does and how he lives his life.”
New York closer Aroldis Chapman had an extended conversion with German on Saturday. Chapman served a 30-game suspension under MLB’s domestic violence policy in 2016 stemming from an altercation with his girlfriend.
“Talked about some of the different things that happened with him the past year or so,” Chapman said through a translator. “Spoke candidly about it.”
NOTES: RHP Corey Kluber threw 21 pitches to C Gary Sanchez during a batting practice session. The two-time Cy Young Award, who signed an $11-million, one-year contract, has thrown just one inning since May 2019 due to right forearm and shoulder injuries.