Girardi Joins 'Mike's On' To Discuss German, Yankees' Success

By WFAN Sports Radio 101.9 FM/66AM New York

Many believed the Yankees would struggle without ace pitcher Luis Severino, who has yet to make his 2019 debut due to a right rotator cuff injury and a Grade 2 lat strain.

However, New York received a pleasant surprise in the performance of Severino's replacement in the rotation, 26-year-old Domingo German.

German has been stellar this season, pitching to a 2.50 ERA and 0.954 WHIP with a league-leading eight wins and just one loss.

WFAN MLB Insider Joe Girardi joined "Mike's On" Tuesday to chat about the start to the season for German and the Yankees.

"I remember seeing him when he first came over in that trade..." Girardi said to Mike Francesa about the young right-hander. "You could see, there was potential. You didn't know if he was going to be a starter or a reliever. He could have been a really effective reliever with two pitches, but he developed that third pitch and it just changed who he was. 

"I'd be surprised about anyone going for their 9th win on May 21, no matter who it is. But I'm not surprised that he's really good."

Another big factor in New York's success thus far has been the improved play of catcher Gary Sanchez.

Sanchez struggled mightily in 2018, hitting just .186/.291/.406 with 18 home runs and 53 RBI in 89 games.

Before the season kicked off, the Yankees were open about the need for Sanchez to bounce back in 2019 in order for them to have a shot at winning a World Series title. The 26-year-old has responded by batting .265/.341/.646 with 13 home runs and 26 RBI in 30 games so far this year.

The former Yankees manager noted that Sanchez's struggles last season now seem to be a thing of the past.

Gary Sanchez rounds the bases after hitting a two RBI home run against the Baltimore Orioles in the eighth inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 07, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. Rob Carr/Getty Images

"David Wells used to say, 'When I pitched well, I was okay. When I didn't pitch well, I was fat,'" Girardi said Tuesday evening. "When you produce, there's not a lot of questions about other things that you do sometimes. He's been very productive, he hit a big three-run home run last night. He's hit the ball extremely hard this year.

"We saw that in 2017 what he was capable of doing. He had a bad year last year, and he's rebounded really well this year. And he'll probably only get better as the season goes on."

One player that has carried his success from last season over to the 2019 campaign is Gleyber Torres.

Torres has been a star this year, hitting .298/.333/.538 with 10 home runs and 23 RBI in 44 games.

Girardi did not hold back his praise for the 22-year-old infielder Tuesday.

"I wouldn't be surprised if he was a MVP one day, or even won a batting title," the MLB insider told Mike. "It would not shock me one bit. I think he's that good.

Click on the audio player above to listen to Mike's full interview with Joe Girardi.