When Domingo German starts the doubleheader's first game on Thursday with the Rays, he has thrown 82 innings this season.
The big question hovering over him was simple, but important and hard to assess: how many frames will the Yankees let German pitch?
Ex-manager Joe Girardi fired on Tuesday. When Girardi spoke to Mike Francesa of WFAN, he threw a number out there.
After Francesa proposed about 130 innings for the right-handed, Girardi rose slightly higher: "130, 140. They want him to be a factor in the postseason. But I think the rest was perfect for him.
Girardi referred to the approximately three weeks that German spent on the injury list with a left hip deflection.
German has a long history of injury, including the operation of Tommy John. His season high for innings came in 2014 as he threw 123 1/3 innings at low-A for the Marlins. He has thrown only 94 innings last season.
The 26-year-old may have been the biggest surprise for the Yankees this season. He has gone in 15 games and 14 starts 11: 2 with 3.40 ERA, has hit 90 and has only gone 19. German might have had an All-Star case if he had not injured himself and put in relatively bad shape in three starts before he went on the injured list June 9th.
Girardi said he was very impressed with German, which he knows well. Girardi managed the Yankees for 10 years before being replaced by Aaron Boone after the 2017 season.
"And he's not a big, strong kid," Girardi said. "He's very thin, he has this really quick arm, he was a blessing to the Yankees, and you think it was like five or six years ago when the Yankees acted for him and he suffered some injuries, but God, he is good now. "