Domingo German owes his breakthrough as Yankees starter to a Tampa trainer

Tampa-based sports trainer Nicole Gabriel, who worked with Domingo German during the 2022-23 offseason.

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Domingo German got an opportunity to start for the Yankees after three of their established starters began the 2023 season on IL. He made the most of this God-send opportunity to emerge as the Yankees’ second-best starting pitcher after ace Gerrit Cole.

The credit for transforming him from a pitcher to a successful starter goes to Tampa-based sports trainer Nicole Gabriel, according to Domingo German. He revealed this during an interview with Daily News.

Domingo German’s rise has an offseason Tampa link

Had everything unfolded as intended, Domingo German would not have been included in the Yankees’ starting rotation at the beginning of the season. However, the injuries suffered by Carlos Rodon, Luis Severino, and Frankie Montas opened up several opportunities, and Domingo German has fully capitalized on them.

Entering Friday’s matchup against Boston, Domingo German boasts a commendable 3.49 ERA. Impressively, over his last seven games, the right-hander has performed even more splendidly, boasting a remarkable 2.20 ERA across 41 innings, with only 12 walks and 31 strikeouts.

Apart from a 10-game suspension due to a violation related to sticky substances, Domingo German has been a consistent and dependable contributor to a Yankees rotation that has faced the challenge of having three starters sidelined with injuries throughout the season.

Domingo German attributes his recent achievements to his commitment to maintaining good health. Having started the previous season on the injured list due to shoulder impingement syndrome, he recognized the importance of prioritizing shoulder strengthening during the offseason.

After his recent start, in which he delivered a solid performance, allowing only one run over six innings against the Red Sox, Domingo German expressed his satisfaction with his physical condition, stating, “I was able to get myself into excellent shape, to the extent that I feel incredibly good physically.”


He further admitted that when his body responds well and recovers swiftly after starts, it instills a sense of confidence in him. The Yankees starter feels assured that he can rebound efficiently and continue pitching at a high level.

In order to accomplish his objective, Domingo German received a recommendation from his agent at MVP Sports Group to collaborate with trainer Nicole Gabriel in Tampa during the offseason. Delighted with the suggestion from his representation, he willingly embraced the opportunity to work with her.

Gabriel, who also trains basketball players, expressed her satisfaction in collaborating with Domingo German, citing his enthusiasm and determination to push himself to new limits. The Yankees pitcher’s commitment to the training process has allowed him to reap the benefits and now he takes to the mound with a heightened sense of confidence in his abilities.

Who is trainer Nicole Gabriel?

With 14 years of experience running her own training business bearing her name, Gabriel has many sports stars as her client. The list includes baseball players such as Carlos Santana, Yordan Alvarez, and Amed Rosario, along with Yankee’s Estevan Florial.

Notably, Domingo German frequently found himself training alongside division rival Randy Arozarena from the Tampa Bay Rays, showcasing the unique camaraderie shared by athletes even across team boundaries.

She crafted Domingo German’s training program by tailoring it to his specific requirements and analyzing his body movements. Additionally, she employed a Kinetisense screening technique, which provided valuable insights into any potential biomechanical irregularities in her clients.

According to Gabriel, Domingo German had a specific objective of maintaining his health throughout the entire season following his injury. Thus, during the offseason, their primary focus was on improving his mobility in both the upper and lower body. Additionally, they dedicated efforts to enhancing the stability of his upper body.

During the offseason, Domingo German dedicated himself to rigorous two-hour workout sessions, conducted five days a week, under the guidance of Gabriel. These comprehensive sessions encompassed a variety of activities, such as corrective exercises, arm care, and strength training. Alongside emphasizing Domingo German’s shoulder health, Gabriel placed considerable emphasis on optimizing the strength and functionality of his legs.

Domingo German found motivation in Santana

According to Domingo German, observing Carlos Santana, a seasoned 14-year veteran hailing from the Dominican Republic, in action was a source of motivation for him. Witnessing Santana’s approach and work ethic served as valuable inspiration for German as he pursued his own goals.

Regrettably for the Yankees, Domingo German did not acquire any insider knowledge on how to effectively retire those hitters during his training sessions.

The Yankees starter clarified that he and the other hitters did not engage in detailed discussions about specific strategies for facing each other. However, he emphasized the enjoyable aspect of spending time with competitors and witnessing a different side of their personalities. Drawing a parallel to being teammates, Domingo German highlighted how this experience allowed him to gain a new perspective on the backgrounds and characteristics of his fellow players.

Domingo German also attributed his success in the 2023 season to the valuable experience he has accumulated throughout his career at the competitive level. He emphasized that putting in the necessary work during the offseason has played a significant role in his performance. By putting himself in a favorable position, German has gained the confidence needed to consistently execute his pitches with precision and effectiveness.

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