Domínguez reaches throwing stage of TJ rehab

Plus: Stroman makes fashion statement, and Gleyber makes one of his own

February 20th, 2024

TAMPA, Fla. -- The schedule looks different for this spring, as the switch-hitting No. 2 prospect works his way back from Tommy John surgery performed in September.

Instead of digging into the batter’s box for live at-bats, as fellow outfielders Aaron Judge, Juan Soto and Alex Verdugo were slated to do on Tuesday afternoon, Domínguez’s program has thus far included playing catch at a distance of 60 feet, with the hope of resuming dry non-contact swings early next week.

“I’m excited to be here to see the new guys, see how their spring is getting together,” Domínguez said. “I’m just patient. I’m not trying to rush anything, but I want to be back soon.”

The 21-year-old Domínguez underwent surgery on Sept. 20, ending an exciting eight-game debut that featured four homers, including an opposite-field blast off the Astros’ Justin Verlander on Domínguez’s first big league swing.

“If you look at the year, it didn’t go the way I wanted it to, but things can change very fast,” Domínguez said. “In the second half, I felt really good, and then I was able to go to Triple-A and the big leagues. I’m grateful to be able to get to the big leagues.”

Like his teammates, Domínguez said he is excited about the opportunity to play alongside Soto, who was acquired from the Padres in December.

“It’ll be amazing to be able to be that close to him and learn from him,” Domínguez said. “It’ll be good for me.”

Domínguez said that he spent most of the offseason rehabbing in Tampa. The Yankees have said they expect Domínguez to be ready for Major League games sometime in the summer; manager Aaron Boone suggested that Domínguez could play in Minor League rehab games in April or May.

“I know that I can play here, but I also know that there’s a lot of work to do,” Domínguez said. “I’ve got a lot of things that I’ve got to learn. … Like I said before, I’m not trying to rush anything. I’m just taking my time, doing what I have to do. When it comes time, it’s going to come.”

Fashion statement
’s growing throwback apparel collection has garnered attention around Yankees camp.

The right-hander arrived sporting the on-field cap worn by Derek Jeter and his Yankees teammates after winning the 1998 World Series, and on at least two occasions, he’s been spotted in a T-shirt that appears to date from the Bombers’ 2004 home opener.

“I love vintage; that’s all I’m usually in, vintage clothing,” Stroman said. “I have a few buddies that will find everything, pretty much. The second I came over here, it definitely was a priority to find some New York vintage.”

No wonder Stroman opted to wear his full pinstriped uniform for a live batting practice session on Monday, as he and Carlos Rodón each tossed three innings. Stroman cruised for much of the outing, inducing grounders and strikeouts, before Austin Wells homered to right field.

“Playing for the New York Yankees as an organization is like the pinnacle of the sport,” Stroman said. “When you embark on this journey to play at the highest level, I feel like everyone wants to be a Yankee at some point. It’s an honor. I’m very grateful and thankful to be part of this organization. It’s an honor to put the pinstripes on, and I don’t take that lightly.”

So where might Stroman have been for that April 8, 2004 home opener, a 3-1 win over the White Sox?

“I was 13; I don’t know,” Stroman said. “Probably sipping on some lemonade or something, practicing on a back field with my dad [Earl].”

Mustachioed man
showed off a new look upon his arrival to camp, joining teammate with a “Super Mario Bros.”-style mustache.

Get a good look, because it may not last long. Torres said that he might shave it off before Wednesday’s photo day, but he might regrow it the rest of the spring.

“I’m not totally on the mustache,” said manager Aaron Boone, “but I’m excited for Gleyber. I think Gleyber’s going to have a great year. He’s another guy that I feel like has had a good winter.

“Gleyber’s a guy now with a lot of experience, in the prime of his career, and [knows] all we’re playing for as a team, but obviously [it is] a [free-agent] walk year. I think it’ll be even more motivation.”