Manager Aaron Boone added that Dominguez’s expected recovery time is 9-10 months. That would put him back in the lineup in June or July. SNY’s Andy Martino had reported Dominguez was also considering an “internal brace” procedure which may have accelerated his return.
Dominguez had been an immediate impact player for the Yankees, batting .258 with four home runs, seven RBI, and a .980 OPS to go with a 162 wRC+. And in just eight games!
Meanwhile, the Yankees have called up longtime center field prospect Estevan Florial.
So, what does this all actually mean and how long will Jasson Dominguez actually be out of the lineup? Well, let’s just establish right now that there’s no way he makes Opening Day. Fans recall Didi Gregorius having Tommy John in mid-October and returning by early June, about seven-and-a-half months later. Phillies slugger Bryce Harper, in an unprecedented case, played through a torn UCL and through the World Series last year, had the surgery, and was back by May.
So where does that leave Jasson Dominguez? Let’s go back to Boone’s original comments on the timeline, courtesy of MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch.
Jasson Dominguez is having Tommy John surgery. Estimated MLB return is 9-10 months, according to Aaron Boone.
— Bryan Hoch ⚾️ (@BryanHoch) September 14, 2023
This seems a conservative estimate both by the numbers and the nature of the surgery. Tommy John surgery is a serious operation and nobody, position player or pitcher, should rush back from it. Ever. Jasson Dominguez is an outfielder and not expected to throw as much as a pitcher or infielder, so where does that leave him?
Rather, let’s focus on two key words from Hoch: “MLB return.”
We already know when Dominguez is having the surgery and when that timeline gets him back on the field. Except it sounds like the Yankees do have a plan to get him into games sooner.
Just not in the major leagues.
It was incredibly easy to get excited over Jasson Dominguez making an immediate impact for the Yankees. Eight games is still way too small a sample size. Fans got just as hyped over Clint Frazier’s similar debut in 2017, and he’s now a minor league journeyman. This isn’t to say that Dominguez is headed for a similar fate, but that anything can happen.
Thus, this likely means the Yankees plan to take their time with Dominguez’s recovery. He’ll be with the team in spring training and maybe take light batting practice. Then, he’ll probably start playing at Triple-A Scranton around May and start ramping himself up. Remember, he’s an outfielder and while he doesn’t throw the ball regularly, he has to be ready to uncork one from center.
Nine or ten months suddenly seems a bit more realistic, doesn’t it? Especially since Dominguez can’t go the Harper route and play only first base or DH until he’s fully healed.
Jasson Dominguez will be back in uniform and ready to go for the Yankees in 2024. Until then, expect to see more of Florial or Everson Pereira in center.