NEW YORK -- Jasson Domínguez provided a tantalizing first impression after being promoted to the Major Leagues on Sept. 1, with the switch-hitting wunderkind becoming the youngest Yankees player since Mickey Mantle to homer and steal a base in the same game.
Mantle’s rookie season was interrupted by a devastating injury, and now Domínguez’s has been as well. The 20-year-old has been diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow that will require surgery, ending his 2023 season and likely costing him the first half of 2024.
“It’s definitely very shocking news,” Domínguez said through an interpreter. “You’re never expecting for this to be the result. Now understanding what happened, we have to look forward and go through it.”
Yankees manager Aaron Boone said that The Martian’s recovery will likely take nine to 10 months, which suggests that the 2024 All-Star break could be a best-case scenario for his return.
“I’m crushed for him,” Boone said. “At the same time, he’s a young man, and these things resolve themselves. It’s a moment in time, in the grand scheme of things, in what we feel like has a chance to be a long, excellent career.”
Said Domínguez: “The plan is to go to surgery as soon as possible and try to recuperate as soon as possible.”
According to Boone and Domínguez, the injury can be traced to his third game in the Majors, a Sept. 3 contest against the Astros in Houston. Domínguez said that he “felt like something wasn’t right” pregame, but he could still play, hitting his second big league homer in a Yankees win.
After an off-day, Domínguez said he was able to loosen up enough to play in his Yankee Stadium debut on Sept. 5, first reporting the discomfort to the team’s training staff on Sept. 6 -- another game in which he homered.
Domínguez said that he has been receiving treatment since then, but the discomfort has “gotten progressively worse.” He was scratched from Sunday’s series finale against the Brewers after feeling unable to swing the bat with authority.
“Today, when he was doing his BP and routine and swinging, he couldn’t pop the ball or hit it hard, so we got him tested during the game,” Boone said.
The Yankees rattled off a five-game winning streak after Domínguez and catcher Austin Wells were promoted as September callups. Domínguez became the youngest player in the Modern Era (since 1900) to homer in four of his first seven AL/NL games.
The switch-hitting center fielder slashed .258/.303/.677 (8-for-31) with six runs, one double, four homers, seven RBIs, two walks and one stolen base in eight games.
“It was a really good experience,” Domínguez said. “I was fortunate to be here, to be able to play those eight games and really see how it is inside this clubhouse in the big leagues.”