Top Yankees outfield prospect Jasson Dominguez has suffered a torn UCL, manager Aaron Boone told reporters (including Brendan Kuty of The Athletic) this afternoon. The news obviously brings the youngster’s 2023 campaign to a close, and will impact the start to his 2024 season as well. Speaking to reporters (including Kuty) through his translator, Dominguez confirmed he would be undergoing surgery, saying “The plan is to go through surgery as soon as possible and try to recuperate as soon as possible.”
A consensus top-50 prospect in baseball at the time of his promotion earlier this month, Dominguez’s big league career was off to a hot start despite just nine games of experience at the Triple-A level before reaching the show: in 33 trips to the plate with New York, the 20-year-old slashed a phenomenal .258/.303/.677 with four homers, a double, and a stolen base while playing a solid center field for the Yankees. Dominguez’s September cup of coffee was on track to put him firmly in the mix for a starting role entering the 2024 season, though this news surely puts that possibility into question.
Tommy John surgery is unlikely to wipe out the youngster’s entire 2024 campaign. The aforementioned 9-10 month recovery timeline would put Dominguez in position to return around the All-Star Break next year, though a more optimistic timeline is certainly possible. Yankees fans will surely remember shortstop Didi Gregorius undergoing the procedure in October 2018. He managed to return as the club’s everyday shortstop in early June, just under eight months after undergoing the procedure.
Of course, Phillies superstar Bryce Harper made a record-setting return from the surgery earlier this year, joining the club’s lineup just over five months after undergoing the procedure. That being said, fans likely shouldn’t expect a similarly speedy recovery for Dominguez. The 20-year-old youngster is still at the very beginning of his career as a big leaguer, and it would hardly be a surprise if the Yankees decided to take their time with the top prospect’s rehab. Additionally, Harper returned to the lineup as a DH for Philadelphia. By contrast, the Yankees have veteran slugger Giancarlo Stanton firmly entrenched as the club’s everyday DH for the foreseeable future. To this point in the season, Stanton has made just 32 appearances in the outfield, and it seems unlikely the Yankees would move him to an everyday outfield role to accommodate a quicker return for Dominguez.
With Dominguez unlikely to serve as a reliable option in center field for at least the first few months of 2024, the injury highlights New York’s need for outfield help as they look ahead to the coming offseason. Cubs center fielder Cody Bellinger stands at the front of the coming market for outfield options, with Tommy Pham, Teoscar Hernandez, Jorge Soler, and Michael Brantley representing other potential options set to hit the open market this winter. The Yankees are also known to have looked into the trade market for outfield help at the trade deadline this year, with a particular interest in Cardinals outfielder Dylan Carlson. While no deal came together before the deadline this summer, it’s certainly feasible trade talks could be revisited in the coming offseason.