Home News Yankees await ‘tough decision’ as Jasson Domínguez readies for rehab assignment

Yankees await ‘tough decision’ as Jasson Domínguez readies for rehab assignment

TAMPA – Jasson Domínguez is days away from playing in his first game since undergoing UCL surgery last September.

Aaron Boone said The Martian is going to begin a rehab assignment this Tuesday or Wednesday. He will do so with the Single-A Tampa Tarpons following a recovery process that’s gone as planned.

“It seems like there’s been very few hiccups along the way,” Boone said Saturday. “It’s been smooth. He hasn’t been rushed.”

Nor will he be.

Boone said that Domínguez will only DH over his first two weeks of minor league games. However, he could have his assignment transferred to a higher-level affiliate before playing in the outfield.

Boone said that Domínguez has been doing all of his defensive work, including long-tossing. However, the Yankees are going to wait to put him in the outfield during a game.

Throughout Domínguez’s recovery, the Yankees have stated that the summertime is the earliest he could return. However, it’s no given that the uber-talented prospect will rejoin the Yankees immediately after his assignment ends.

While Domínguez shined prior to his injury last year, hitting four home runs over eight games for a disappointing team intent on auditioning younger players, he’s only 21. He’s also played in just nine Triple-A games.

Meanwhile, the Yankees have a solidified starting outfield with Juan Soto in right, Aaron Judge in center and Alex Verdugo in left.

Domínguez, who has minor league options, would be an offensive improvement over fourth outfielder Trent Grisham, but also a defensive downgrade. Relegating Domínguez to a backup role could hurt his development, though.

At the moment, it looks like regular playing time would be hard for Domínguez to come by. Of course, things change over time, but there’s a chance the Yankees stash Domínguez in the minors once his assignment ends.

“Hopefully it is a tough decision at that point because good things are happening here,” Boone said. “So we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

With that said, Verdugo and Soto are heading for free agency this winter. Both have enjoyed their time as Yankees so far, but there’s no guarantee they return. Their potential departures could set up eventual outfield openings for Domínguez and fellow top prospect Spencer Jones, though that’s a little far out in the future.

Either way, Boone is confident that Domínguez is going to have a successful career. It’s just not clear when it will resume at the major league level.

“I always feel like I’ve been one of the high guys on Jasson,” Boone said. “Going back to last spring, I’m like, ‘This guy’s a big leaguer.’ There’s no doubt in my mind he’s gonna have a really good major league career.

“Now, when does that happen and when does he really take off and pop and all that? That always is an unknown and remains to be seen. Everyone’s trajectory is different. But I am confident in the person and the talent.”


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