German led the Yankees’ pitching staff to great success for the first seven weeks of the season, pitching to a 2.60 ERA over 10 starts with 57 strikeouts to just 16 walks across 55.1 innings. He also racked up nine wins to lead all of baseball to that point, showing his ace potential as the team dealt with injuries to Luis Severino, James Paxton, and CC Sabathia.
But the 26-year-old’s last three outings have been a disaster, and while it is a small sample size, there have been legitimate signs of concern. Against the Kansas City Royals, Boston Red Sox, and Cleveland Indians, German managed to throw just 14.2 innings with an 8.59 ERA and seven home runs allowed. While many pegged those results as regression to the mean, it seems as though they can be attributed to the injury.
After throwing just 94 innings combined across four levels last season, German has already racked up 70 innings thus far. It’s only the beginning of June. There were talks of limiting the youngster’s innings throughout the season, and while this injury seems to be legitimate, it will have the added benefit of pacing his workload and perhaps keeping him fresh as the dog days of summer approach.
In the meantime, the Yankees have recalled Stephen Tarpley to the major-league roster to help out with the bullpen. On Sunday in the series finale against Cleveland, Chad Green is getting the start in what will be a pen day, likely utilizing at least six relievers. Tarpley’s addition could help ease the workload on the bullpen, but as for filling a hole in the starting rotation, that’s still to be determined.