If you thought the 2023 season couldn’t get worse for the New York Yankees, brace yourself. Already eliminated from playoff contention and resorting to playing prospects, the last thing anyone expected was a torn right UCL for Jasson Dominguez, the team’s promising young star.
Dominguez: A Meteoric Rise Cut Short
Only 20 years old and having participated in just eight games, Dominguez was already setting the MLB alight. Boasting a batting average of .258, a .303 OBP, and an impressive .677 slugging rate, he hit a record four home runs and bagged seven RBIs. His advanced metrics were just as promising: a 24.2% strikeout rate, a 6.1% walk rate, and a wRC+ of 162.
Dominguez, without a doubt, is being eyed as the Yankees’ future centerfielder. However, with surgery slated for next Wednesday, he faces a 9–10 month recovery period. While he might be able to start hitting earlier than that—as a designated hitter—this would push Giancarlo Stanton back into a defensive role, a risky proposition given his history.
Dominguez’s Pathway to 2024 and What it Means for the Yankees
Dominguez is the crown jewel of the Yankees’ prospect system, and he’s rapidly carving out a role in their 2024 plans. The earliest he could be back on the field is next June, which would still give him half a season to potentially influence the Yankees’ playoff aspirations.
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Filling the Gap: What’s Next for the Yankees?
The front office now faces the task of figuring out how to cope with Dominguez’s absence. Options could range from using utility players to plug the hole in centerfield to bringing in an established starter and having Dominguez transition to left field upon his return. Although the approach remains uncertain, there’s no wavering in the Yankees’ belief that Dominguez will be back with the first-team lineup next season.
As the Yankees navigate this challenging season, Dominguez’s injury certainly adds another layer of complexity. Yet, the team remains steadfast in their conviction that he will be a key part of their future, even as they wrestle with the short-term difficulties his absence presents.