Yankees prospect Domínguez faces season-ending UCL tear

Jasson Dominguez, player of the New York Yankees

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The Yankees’ top outfield prospect, Jasson Dominguez, has suffered a torn UCL, as confirmed by manager Aaron Boone in a press briefing today. This unfortunate news abruptly concludes Dominguez’s 2023 season and raises concerns about his readiness for the start of the 2024 season. According to MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch, Boone mentioned that no surgery date has been set for Dominguez, but it’s worth noting that Tommy John surgery typically involves a recovery period of 9 to 10 months for position players.

Domínguez’s promising start

Yankees' top prospect Jasson Dominguez
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Before this setback, Dominguez had rapidly made a name for himself in the big leagues, despite having only played nine games at the Triple-A level before his promotion earlier this month. In his 33 plate appearances with the New York Yankees, the 20-year-old displayed impressive skills, batting an outstanding .258/.303/.677 with four home runs, a double, and a stolen base while excelling in center field. Dominguez’s September performance seemed to position him as a strong candidate for a starting role in the 2024 season, but this injury has cast doubt on that prospect.

Assuming Dominguez undergoes Tommy John surgery, it’s unlikely that his entire 2024 season will be lost. The estimated recovery time of 9-10 months could potentially see him return around the All-Star Break next year, though a quicker recovery isn’t out of the question. It’s worth noting that Didi Gregorius, a former Yankees shortstop, returned to the lineup in early June, less than 8 months after undergoing the same procedure in October 2018.

However, it’s important to temper expectations regarding Dominguez’s recovery timeline. He’s still in the early stages of his MLB career, and the Yankees may opt for a cautious approach to his rehabilitation. Furthermore, the presence of Giancarlo Stanton as the team’s designated hitter makes it unlikely that they will rush Dominguez back into an everyday outfield role.

While no deal materialized before the summer deadline, it’s plausible that trade discussions could be revisited in the upcoming offseason. The Yankees will face a challenge in the 2024 season with Dominguez out of action for the first few months. This highlights their need for additional outfield players. In the upcoming offseason, Cody Bellinger from the Cubs is expected to be the top outfield option available. Other notable names to consider include Tommy Pham, Teoscar Hernandez, Jorge Soler, and Michael Brantley. The Yankees had previously shown interest in Cardinals outfielder Dylan Carlson during the trade deadline, but a deal did not materialize. However, it is possible that trade discussions could be revisited in the upcoming offseason.

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