Jasson Dominguez faces ex-Yankees history maker in first rehab, ends up 1-for-3

Yankees outfielder Jasson Dominguez is at his first rehab game playing for the Tarpons on May 14, 2024, in Tampa.

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Jasson Dominguez, the Yankees’ top prospect, faced a unique challenge in his first rehab game since his Tommy John surgery last autumn. As the designated hitter for the Low A Tampa Tarpons, Dominguez’s initial two at-bats were against Domingo German, a former Yankee who made history last season.

In his first at-bat for Single-A Tampa, the 20-year-old phenom grounded a single to right field on the first pitch he saw from former Yankee German. Despite Tampa’s 4-3 loss to Bradenton at George M. Steinbrenner Field, Domínguez showcased his potential, finishing 1-for-3 with a walk.

“It feels nice to be back on the field and to do what I love,” said after the game. “It feels good.”

German, now with the Pittsburgh Pirates, was making his season debut for the Bradenton Marauders. Despite the challenge, the switch-hitting Dominguez showed no signs of rust, hitting a first-inning single off German while batting left-handed. However, German got the better of his fellow Dominican in their second encounter, inducing a flyout to right field in the third inning.

Yankees outfielder Jasson Dominguez played for the first since undergoing Tommy John surgery on Tuesday night in Tampa.
Mark LoMoglio | Tampa Tarpons

In his full-game performance, Dominguez recorded a 1-for-3 stat line, which included a walk and a strikeout. His first two at-bats were against Hung-Leng Chang. The Yankees’ plan for Dominguez involves him serving as a designated hitter for two weeks before transitioning to playing center field.

German, in his four-inning outing, surrendered one run on three hits while striking out four batters and issuing no walks. German, who pitched a perfect game for the Yankees last June 28 in Oakland, faced a suspension for the final two months of the season following accusations of arriving at a game intoxicated.

Yankees eager for Dominguez’s return

After 20 days, the Yankees will activate Dominguez from the 60-day injured list and decide whether to promote him to their 26-man roster or assign him to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Dominguez, the highly-touted Yankees prospect ranked 32nd overall by MLB, kicked off his rehab assignment with a promising start. While Domínguez’s minor league performance may not have lived up to the hype surrounding his amateur signing, considered one of the most highly anticipated in history, his big league debut at such a young age demonstrated his immense potential. As he continues his rehab, the plan is for him to serve as the designated hitter for the first two weeks, while also throwing from 150 feet to regain arm strength.

Domínguez’s emergence in the big leagues last season was a silver lining for the Yankees, as he homered four times in just eight games before undergoing Tommy John surgery in September. His power was on full display, with two of those home runs coming off Justin Verlander and Cristian Javier, hinting at his massive upside that made him a $5.1 million prize in the 2019 international signing class.

Yankees outfielder Jasson Dominguez is in action during his first rehab game playing for the Tarpons on May 14, 2024, in Tampa.

The key question now is where Dominguez fits into the Yankees’ current roster and when he’ll be ready to contribute at the major league level again. His rehab assignment has a 20-day window, after which the Yankees must either reinstate him to the big league club or option him to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

After the game, he expressed that it felt nice to be back on the field and to do what he loved. He mentioned that it felt good. Domínguez stated that everything was going as planned and that he had been anxious before about when he would get back. However, he added that now that he was playing, he was good.

“Everything is going as it’s planned,” Domínguez said. “I was anxious before about when I would get back. But now that I’m playing, I’m good.”

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