As the 2023 regular season continues, here are three things we’ll be keeping an eye on around the baseball world throughout the day today:
1. German facing discipline:
Yankees right-hander Domingo German was ejected from last night’s game following a foreign substance inspection. Home plate umpire James Hoye told reporters following the game that German’s hand was “the stickiest (he) had ever felt,” noting it “was definitely not rosin.” That leaves German almost certainly facing a 10-game suspension during which the Yankees would not be allowed to replace the 30-year-old righty on the roster. It’s the second time this season that German has been questioned for foreign substance use. He was twice warned — also by Hoye — to wash his hands in a game against the Twins last month, during which German flirted with a no-hitter. Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli was ejected after the umpiring crew allowed German to continue pitching and criticized the crew’s decision after the game.
German has had a solid 3.75 ERA in nine starts for the Yankees this season, but now a club that’s already missing Luis Severino, Carlos Rodon, and Frankie Montas figures to go without yet another starter for ten days. If German does end up suspended, right-hander Randy Vasquez is on the 40-man roster as a potential depth option for the rotation, though he’s posted a concerning 5.50 ERA in eight starts at the Triple-A level. Long reliever Ryan Weber could also get a start. Severino has already made a pair of minor league rehab starts, he’s another option if the Yankees feel he’s had sufficient time to build back up.
2. Guerrero to undergo MRI:
Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. left last night’s game against the Yankees dealing with right knee discomfort, as manager John Schneider tells reporters (including Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet). Guerrero will undergo an MRI, with the Blue Jays likely to make decisions regarding the path forward for Guerrero afterwards. Toronto’s superstar first baseman is off to a phenomenal start in 2023, with a .312/.385/.516 slash line that’s good for a 150 wRC+.
Losing Guerrero for any amount of time would be a sizable blow for a Blue Jays club that currently slots in at third place with a 24-18 record in a very competitive AL East. Should Guerrero miss time, Santiago Espinal and Cavan Biggio could see more playing time off the bench, though the club does have first base prospect Spencer Horwitz, who is slashing .317/.443/.442 at the Triple-A level this season, on the 40-man roster.
3. MLBTR chat today:
Yesterday, MLBTR’s Steve Adams fielded questions during yesterday’s live chat, the transcript of which can be found here. If you still have unanswered questions about the first seven weeks of the 2023 season, you’re in luck, as MLBTR’s Anthony Franco will be hosting a live chat of his own today at 5pm CT. You can submit a question in advance here, and you can use the same link to check back in this evening and participate live once the chat begins.
C Yards Jeff
Gaining an edge, err cheating, has been part of this game from day one. Let the fellas play and, if it starts to get out of hand, let the league officials give the umps some wiggle room to real it back in.
I’m ok with German here and the home plate umpire. Gaining an adge is cool as long as the overall integrity of a game is not in jeopardy. Obviously, in this case, the ump thought the pitcher took things a bit too far.
Spankees are a joke!
The integrity of the game is in question. German loaded up earlier in the year (ump said it was the stickiest hand he’d ever seen) and somehow was not ejected. That showed the Yankees get to play by different rules (Max Scherzer gets no warnings, Yankees get a mulligan). Boone knew about the sticky stuff yet it continued (yesterday, the ump said again that it was the stickiest hand he had ever seen!). It is not gamesmanship, it is a culture of cheating and entitlement. The Yankees should be fined and Boone suspended. That’s the only way it stops.
If Guerrero is out long term then the Jays need to really consider becoming sellers. They have some interesting pieces they can move starting with Chapman. If they can move a bad contract or two then they can lock up their core and still be players on the FA market.
Belt will fill in nicely. Chapman is more of an extension candidate. Orelvis Martinez would have been the future there but he forgot how to hit in AA. He does have 11 HR’s though.
Belt will fit nicely in Vlad’s stead especially if you take it in about fourteen notches.
They have the 4th best record in the AL with one of the toughest schedules and majority road games and really haven’t played all that well as of yet.
Not saying this may not happen, but to have this discussion now is a bit ridiculous
The foreign substance check needs better guidelines. There is too much subjectivity it seems.
German was most definitely cheating, and it doesn’t surprise me the yanks are habitually cheating and get it covered up or lightly punished, Apple Watch scandal, Gerrit cole spider tack, that sealed envelope that suspiciously was never released to the public, Aaron judge peaking into the dugout. The list goes on….
And then cashman whines and complains how the Astros were cheating and the series was stolen.
Rules for thee and not for me – Yankees fans
Don’t forget the juiced batch of balls that were most commonly found in use at Yankee Stadium last year when Judge became the first player since the steroid era to hit 60+ homers in a season.
German got a mulligan earlier in the year but Scherzer was (properly) ejected.
Cashman’s beef is that the Astros were better at it than the Yankees…
The league must do something about the Yankees long history of cheating…. Steroids… Replay Room…. Sticky stuff… Judge getting batting practice baseballs… Can we just put an asterisk next to their name already?
Maybe MLBTR could do an article about all the times the Yankees were caught cheating? Is it any wonder why fans question average players who have historic seasons when they play for the Yankees? Matt Carpenter… DJ… Cole…
Simon, sounds like a good article for you.
It is, of course, the evident destiny of the New York Yankees to rule over all their domain.
What’s that expression? Oh yeah. Death, taxes, and the Yankees cheating.
On German’s hands being sticky, all four umpires came over to the first base line and checked him. I had never seen all four umpires do a “foreign substances” check, so it appears ejecting him was not something that was undertaken lightly. At least three of them thought his hands were “too sticky”. The glistening of his hands was noticeable on the TV feed.
They were probably pondering… “but he plays for the Yankees… should we enforce the rules? Mill Manfred allow us too?”
Hoye strikes again!
Shouldn’t MLB be checking what exactly was on German’s hands? His spin rates this year are consistent, and he was using MLB’s approved brick rosin from the mound. MLB also approves the use of alcohol to clean rosin off hands between innings, yet as ESPN showed a few weeks back, cleaning rosin from fingers with alcohol leaves a clean-looking hand, but one that’s still sticky. I’d imagine the rinse-repeat process will continue to compound the stickiness.
This is a Manfred-MLB created problem. The fact that only one umpire and his crew is calling these infractions speaks to inconsistency and a lack of understanding and enforcement. The MLBPA should step in.
BTW I’m not making excuses for German. It was not smart on his side (this is hardly a high character player) knowing the umpire and crew. He should have been extremely cautious knowing an ejection by the trigger-happy Hoye would cost him and his team. Regardless, this is a MLB created problem that once again takes direction away from the product, putting focus instead on umpires, Manfred and not on the product on the field.
Its called rock rosin and German said he was using sand rosin, which is not an MLB supplied rosin.
He came out of the dugout for the 4th inning with his hands shiny and sticky after being asked by the umpire to wash his hands following the third inning. That means whatever he applied, he applied it in the dugout which is against the rules.
ESPN showed that if you apply rosin while your hands are still wet with isopropyl alcohol that it creates a super sticky substance. You can’t wash your hands in the dugout and still have them be wet when you get to the mound. Alcohol dries too fast.
German was asked to wash his hands after he left the mound in the third and was stopped before he could get to the mound to even use a rosin bag. That means he applied rosin or whatever sticky substance it was in the dugout. That is against the rules. He cheated.
“Regardless, this is a MLB created problem that once again takes direction away from the product, putting focus instead on umpires, Manfred and not on the product on the field.”
No, this is a problem caused by players and organizations of low moral character who seem incapable of playing by the rules. The focus should be on the rule breakers and their removal from participation in the sport.
Heck, you could do an article about all of the Yankees cheating but it would be awful long.
Then you could do an article about all of the Yankees arrested and it would be even longer.
Disgusting organization with a track record of entitlement and fans who throw more garbage on the field than anywhere else in the country.
What’s not to hate about them? Really nothing.
Why does it seem like an annual event a yankee pitcher gets tossed for a foreign sticky substance, and not even against the red sox this time.