TAMPA, Fla. — Domingo Germán pitched two scoreless innings for the New York Yankees in his spring training debut Friday, a week after publicly apologizing for actions that led to his 2019 suspension under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy.
There was no noticeable reaction from the socially distanced crowd of 2,352 at Steinbrenner Field when Germán took the mound to start against the Detroit Tigers.
“I felt welcomed,” Germán said through a translator.
Germán struck out four and allowed one hit, a double by Wilson Ramos. The 28-year-old righty walked none.
“Exciting to be back on the field, be back with my teammates,” Germán said. ”I felt relaxed, confident.”
Germán was 18-4 with a 4.03 ERA for the Yankees when MLB put him on administrative leave while investigating an alleged domestic violence incident involving his girlfriend, with whom he has at least one child.
Germán missed the final nine games of the regular season and all nine of New York’s playoff games. On Jan. 2, 2020, he was suspended for 63 games — he was out for the entire pandemic-shortened 2020 season and playoffs.
Back with the Yankees for the start of spring training, Germán spoke with his New York teammates last week and issued a public apology the next day.
Germán hopes to earn a spot in a rotation projected to include Gerrit Cole, Jordan Montgomery and newcomers Jameson Taillon and Corey Kluber. He also is looking to resolve some uneasiness among his teammates.
“Put it in the past and move away from it,” Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez said through a translator. “Start taking steps toward a special future.”
Germán pitched during the offseason in the Dominican Winter League.
“Pitching over there helped,” Germán said. “Put me at ease. I could still compete and that I can find my way back to be the same pitcher that I was.”
Germán made his big league debut in 2017.
“Overall I thought I saw confidence from him,” Sanchez said. “That’s what I wanted. I wanted for him to go out there and have fun and just execute with confidence.”
The Yankees and Tigers played to a 1-all tie.