Even after serving a 10-game suspension following an ejection for a failed sticky-stuff examination, Domingo German has not received clarity from MLB or umpires concerning the fine line that exists between a hand that is acceptably sticky and a hand that is too sticky.
As the right-hander tries to ensure he does not cross that line, German said he will be more deliberate with his rosin use than he had been earlier this season.
“Probably go back to previous years before, where I used it way less,” German said through interpreter Marlon Abreu before the Yankees beat the Padres, 10-7, in The Bronx. “Summer’s around the corner, so [I will] probably be sweating a little bit more. Use sweat, get a better grip and that’s it.”
German will rejoin the Yankees’ rotation for Monday’s series opener in Seattle after he was ejected before the fourth inning of a May 16 win in Toronto.
After three hitless innings, German was intercepted before he took the mound and found to have the “stickiest [hand] I’ve ever felt,” crew chief James Hoye told a pool reporter.
German has maintained he only used rosin and sweat — and not a foreign substance — to get a grip.
“It’s uncomfortable because you don’t know exactly what is too much and what’s allowed,” said German, who did not appeal the suspension.
It was his second sticky-substance scare of the season.
He was told in an April start to clean off a hand that was sticky after he had applied rosin in the dugout.
The 30-year-old said he will continue to use the rocky rosin, both in the dugout and on the mound, but vowed to use an acceptable amount.
If there is any question concerning what amount is acceptable, Aaron Boone said the dugout would be vigilant to check German before he takes the mound.
“We will and have been doing that more, but making sure we’re in a good spot,” the Yankees manager said of German, who has a 3.75 ERA in nine starts.
The Yankees have played with a 25-man roster since German’s suspension and were forced to call up Randy Vasquez for a spot start.
German does not want to put the Yankees in such a bind again.
“Very hard to not be here with my team and my teammates,” German said. “It’s my responsibility. I put the team in a tough spot when they needed me to be here.”
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