Things lined up precisely as the Yankees had hoped Saturday night, opening the door for Chad Green to make his first start for them this season as they attempt to complete a sweep of the Orioles on Sunday.
The righthander, who has pitched exceptionally out of the bullpen — including many times when more than an inning was required — had been the Yankees’ first choice all along. Still, there was some concern that Green could be needed to pitch in what became a 16-3 rout of Baltimore at the Stadium. So the club took no chances and summoned Triple-A righty Domingo German as a second option.
Though German wasn’t in the clubhouse after the win, lefty Tommy Layne was packing his bags and saying his goodbyes. Within the hour, the club announced that Layne had been designated for assignment and that German would be added to the active roster.
“I found out in the ninth inning,” Green said of being picked to make the start. “I was prepared to start. They kind of mentioned it a couple days ago that it was a possibility. I knew if I didn’t get in the game tonight, there was a chance that could happen.”
The Yankees ended up weighing these options when Girardi decided to have struggling Masahiro Tanaka take an extra day of rest and pitch Monday night against the Angels in Anaheim rather than face a Baltimore lineup that twice has hit him hard.
“He’s struggling, Baltimore’s seen him a lot [and] an extra day is not going to hurt him,” Girardi said Friday.
Green, acquired from Detroit in the 2015 trade of Justin Wilson, has been primarily a starter, including eight starting assignments with the Yankees last season. This season he has worked exclusively out of the bullpen in two stints with the Yankees, pitching 16 2⁄3 innings to a 1.62 ERA with 20 strikeouts.
He has thrown at least three innings in three of his seven appearances this season for the Yankees and fired 3 1⁄3 innings of no-hit relief in Boston in his last appearance June 6. He threw 45 pitches in that game and indicated that he probably could throw more Sunday depending on “if the innings are stressful.”
“I wouldn’t say there is a set number that I feel comfortable,” Green said. “I’m just going to go out there and throw strikes, get the defense off the field and just pound the zone.”
German, acquired from the Marlins in the 2015 trade of Martin Prado, began the season with Double-A Trenton, going 1-4 with a 3.00 ERA before being promoted to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He won his last start June 5 to improve to 2-1 with a 3.76 ERA for the Railriders. Girardi said “he had a good fastball and a good changeup and his breaking ball was emerging” in spring training.
Though Chance Adams has been the Yankees’ top pitching prospect and has raced through the minor-league system, he is not on the 40-man roster. German may have been the choice because he already is.
With Erik Boland and David Lennon