German, who was perfect through three innings, was intercepted by the first-base umpire when he was going out for the fourth inning. The umpire performed a substance check and after some time, he and the rest of the umpiring crew deemed German’s hands were too sticky and they ejected him.
“It was just the rosin bag,” German said after the game via a translator. “You have two types of rosin bags, a rock and a sand one. I use the sand one a lot. From the last start, a couple of games ago, they mentioned that I wasn’t using it enough on the mound. Tonight I was just using it a lot, that’s it.”
The start German is referring to was the April 15 matchup against the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium. In that start, the same umpiring crew suspected German had something on his hand but let him go with a warning — which caused Twins manager Rocco Baldelli to be ejected.
German said he was using a rosin bag he had in the dugout instead of the one on the mound in that start against the Twins. This time, he was using the bag on the mound.
Crew chief James Hoye had a different view of what was on German’s hands.
“It’s not rosin. It was not rosin. It was definitely not rosin,” he said after the game according to MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch. “Because I’ve felt hands with rosin. That wasn’t rosin. It was extremely sticky. And rosin usually is kind of like a little tackiness. This was sticky, as in my fingers had a hard time coming off his palm.”
As the baseball world saw with Max Scherzer a few weeks ago, even if it was rosin on German’s hand the amount may have been too much. The ejection Tuesday night put the Yankees in a tough spot, asking the bullpen to get six innings, which they would do.
“I have to apologize to my teammates and my team. I’m putting them in a tough position right now,” German said. “Understanding how much the bullpen has been used. And my plan was to pitch tonight, and putting them in a tough situation where I’m not pitching out there anymore.”
In addition, German will be suspended for 10 games because of the nature of his ejection. German says it’s difficult because he wants to be out on the field helping his team, but he’ll stay ready for when he returns.
The upcoming suspension will have the Yankees scrambling to fill German’s spot in the rotation. Luckily for the Yankees, Luis Severino is close to returning and could be activated as soon as this weekend.
What happened Tuesday is over, but German wants MLB and the umpires to let the pitchers know what they are looking for especially with summer arriving and they’ll be sweating more, which has its own effect on the rosin.
And manager Aaron Boone agrees. although he believes German should have been more responsible.
“Ultimately, that’s Domingo’s responsibility to make sure we’re in a better position,” Boone said. “The reality is, we should all have a very good idea what the line is and apparently Domingo crossed it.