The hits just keep coming.
In what has been a truly cursed season for the New York Yankees, they just received confirmation of perhaps the most alarming injury suffered by one of their players this year. Jasson Domínguez was a late scratch from today’s game against the Brewers with elbow inflammation and now we know why. Imaging has revealed that the team’s top prospect suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, bringing an end to his rookie season.
Top New York Yankees prospect Jasson Dominguez has a torn right ulnar collateral ligament, manager Aaron Boone said.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) September 10, 2023
He may very well need Tommy John surgery, though position players can often return within six months of surgery. Dominguez shouldn't miss much time next season.
It’s just a devastating blow for Domínguez, his teammates, and the fans. The 20-year-old sensation has lit up the big leagues since his debut on September 1st, breaking several records in the process. He homered off of future first-ballot Hall of Famer Justin Verlander on his first swing in the bigs. He also became the youngest Yankee since Mickey Mantle to homer three times in any five-game span and the youngest player in the Modern Era to homer four times in his first seven games.
El Marciano has looked right at home since the moment he set foot on a big-league field, carrying a calm demeanor in the batter’s box that showed a maturity well beyond his 20 years. In eight games, Domínguez was slashing .258/.303/.677 with four home runs, seven RBI, and a 161 wRC+, reaching base safely in each of his first seven games. What’s more, he injected excitement into an otherwise meaningless final month of games.
Tommy John surgery is a likely option. The sooner he and the team decide on a procedure, the sooner he can begin his recovery process. As Passan noted in the tweet above, history has shown that position players can return from TJS sooner than pitchers. The Yankees are all too familiar with UCL injuries to their position players, with each of Didi Gregorius, Aaron Hicks and Gleyber Torres undergoing the procedure. Gregorius aggravated a partial tear during the 2019 ALCS and was activated in July the following season after eight months of rehab. Hicks went under the knife for it after the 2019 season and also returned to action eight months later. Torres had the surgery on his non-throwing elbow after suffering his injury in June of 2017 and was ready for spring training 2018.
There are other high-profile cases that might be useful to examine. Bryce Harper underwent TJS on November 23, 2022 and returned to the Phillies in early May this season. During his Dodgers days, Corey Seager opted for the surgery in early May 2018 and missed the rest of the season but returned in spring 2019. Travis d’Arnaud was a similar case, suffering the injury in April 2018, causing him to miss all of that season as well. It’s worth noting that TJS isn’t the only option to repair the ligament — Trevor Story underwent an internal brace procedure on February 16th of this year and returned August 8th. Shohei Ohtani is continuing to DH (for now, anyway) with a ruptured UCL in his pitching elbow.
Suffice to say there are a range of procedures and recovery time tables for Domínguez. It appears the mean recovery time for a position player is right around that eight-month mark, which would indicate roughly a May 2024 return should he opt for surgery in the near-future.
Whatever his decision, all of us here at PSA wish him a full and speedy recovery. We can’t wait to see what he’ll do in 2024.