LISTEN: David Cone Raves About Yankees' Domingo German

He Also Discusses Happ, Bombers' Surprising Success

Boomer and Gio
May 21, 2019 - 11:09 am


David Cone is enjoying watching the rise of Domingo German.

Asked during an appearance on WFAN's "Boomer and Gio" show Tuesday which Yankee he's been most surprised by this season, Cone quickly mentioned the 26-year-old right-hander, who's off to an 8-1 start with a 2.50 ERA.

"He's on track to maybe make the All-Star team," said Cone, the former Yankees and Mets pitcher who is now a YES TV analyst. "We saw the stuff from him last year, but he's taken a giant leap forward this year. And I talk about analytics -- and forget the numbers. His presence on the mound, his confidence, you can just see it. The way he stands on the mound, his body language, he expects to win now.

"I know I'm biased as a pitcher myself, but when I see a young pitcher like that take that next step and you see that look in his eyes and that confidence seemingly growing overnight, that's fun to watch."

On the flipside, Cone mentioned J.A. Happ as one of the most disappointing players on the team so far. 

After allowing six runs over 3 2/3 innings Monday night in Baltimore, Happ is now 3-3 with a 5.16 ERA on the season. His 13 home runs allowed are tied for fifth in the majors.

Fortunately for the Yankees, they were able to rally back from a 6-1 deficit to beat the Orioles 10-7 on Monday.

"J.A. Happ's got to keep the ball in the ballpark," said Cone, who was promoting his new book "Full Count: The Education of a Pitcher." "The problem with J.A. is that he's a veteran guy, he's very confident, he challenges hitters, but if he misses his spots and he's up and out over the plate, with his four-seam fastball, if it doesn't have the life and the spin rate ... those are home run pitches. 

"So that's a problem," the Cy Young Award winner and five-time world champion said. "When you're pitching in the American League East -- Camden Yards last night, Yankee Stadium -- if you can't keep the ball in the ballpark, you're going to get exposed in the American League East."

But all in all, Cone said he's been "blown away" by what the Yankees have accomplished this season. Despite a rash of injuries out of the gate, the Bronx Bombers are currently 29-17, one game up on the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL East lead.

"If you're not a Yankee fan or in fact if you're the opposite, if you hate the Yankees, this has got to be really annoying right now," Cone said. 

"If you think about it, Gio Urshela was Gio Who to Gio Cult Hero in almost in a month's period of time. And Domingo German steps in and is every bit as good numbers-wise as Luis Severino was, the guy he replaced. The list goes on and on. Luke Voit is really for real. ... He's a great hitter. He fits right in the middle of that lineup.

"(General manager) Brian Cashman has had a great run of finding undervalued players, building depth so that when the injuries did hit, they had pieces in place. And even if they didn't, they could go out and pluck somebody, whether it's Kendrys Morales, who shows up his first day in a Yankee uniform and hits one in the suite level at Yankee Stadium up in the upper deck. That's just the way it's going."

To listen to the interview, in which Cone also discusses his aneurysm in the 1990s, the decision to wear a Yankees uniform on his book cover and more, click on the audio player above.

WFAN is the flagship station of the Yankees. Tune in to 660 AM or 101.9 FM this season to hear all the action.