German making case on mound for Yankees

Club's No. 18 prospect sharp vs. Mets, has 1.17 ERA this spring

March 7th, 2018

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The Yankees are no different than any other Major League club in their quest for depth in starting pitching. continues to give them reason for optimism.

The 25-year-old impressed again on Wednesday in the Yankees' 11-4 win over the Mets. An eighth-inning grand slam by , his fourth home run in 16 at-bats this spring, and a three-run homer by Trey Amburgey in the ninth, powered the victory.

German, making his second Grapefruit League start and third appearance overall, went 2 2/3 innings, allowing just one hit. He struck out the side in the second inning and finished with five strikeouts while walking two.

"Here, we are trying to do our jobs, have a good showing, so that in the future in whatever way they need us we're here to contribute," German said.

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He struck out , and in order in the second inning, breezing through the first two frames on 25 pitches. German retired the first six batters he faced.

"It's an experience facing those guys. The plan was just to execute pitches, make sure I executed what I wanted to do," said German, who believes he has improved both physically and mentally from a year ago. "Definitely fastball command is much better this year. My secondary pitches are better, and the concentration in the game, that's something that I've worked hard with. I'm also more aggressive at times."

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He was aggressive with his changeup, a pitch he said he throws with supreme confidence.

"I can throw it on any pitch. If I throw it and miss it, I can throw it again," German said. "I like using it."

The third inning presented a bit of a problem for German. A pair of walks and the only hit he allowed, a single to , loaded the bases. A pair of strikeouts had German in position to work out of the jam, but a bloop to center field was dropped following a long run from center fielder , allowing two unearned runs to cross the plate.

That brought to an end the 55-pitch performance (32 strikes), one German said he hopes increases his chances of pitching for the Yankees in the regular season.

"Show them confidence, so that in the future if they ever need me to come up here and pitch, I'll be ready to do that," he said.

In 7 2/3 innings this spring, German has struck out 10 while compiling a 1.17 ERA. He was 0-1 with a 3.14 ERA in seven games -- all out of the bullpen -- for the Yankees last season. German struck out 18 over 14 1/3 innings.

Demonstrating that fastball command is what manager Aaron Boone said he would like to see from the Yankees' No. 18 prospect.

"He can flip in his breaking ball, his changeup. He commands those pretty well, especially when he's behind in the count," Boone said. "I think it's just, for him, continuing to find that slot to be able to command his fastball the way he would need to, to be a dude up here."