Jasson Dominguez, Giancarlo Stanton injury timing is Yankees' worst nightmare

Just peachy.
2024 New York Yankees Spring Training
2024 New York Yankees Spring Training / New York Yankees/GettyImages

New York Yankees designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton was always going to go down. He no longer possesses a body that can complete 162 high-stress games (or even 62 stressful ones and 100 lollygags). It shouldn't be an unreasonable expectation, given his age and athleticism, but it just is. Yankee fans should be thankful for what he's already produced, going above and beyond (especially with RISP), while hoping that his long layoff doesn't fuel a long dry spell when he returns in a month (it always does).

But, like Anthony Rizzo's opening of the Ben Rice Portal, this should've been a seamless opportunity for a productive fill-in. Up until last week, Jasson Dominguez was in desperate need of big-league reps. Opening up the DH role and allowing the Yankees to filter several names through it, providing well-earned half days, is a benefit in itself of any inevitable Stanton absence. In this particular case, the potential benefit was even cleaner and clearer, even if Stanton's time on the shelf went from 10 days to a month to possibly a bit more, to keep things taut.

Nope. The timelines have lined up so nicely so often this year -- Rizzo into Rice, Cole into Gil, Schmidt into Poteet, Poteet back into Cole, even Trent Grisham's repeated homer-filled fill-ins for the team's top outfielders. For the first time all year, though, during the team's worst slide, a timeline clash for the ages could set them back even further.

Dominguez would've been promoted. He would've, more than likely, dominated. It would've caused a few odd questions at the tail end of Stanton's (likely slower-than-needed) rehab, but it would've been worth it. Neither the Stanton injury/breather nor the Dominguez blow (eight full weeks, most likely) are catastrophic for a very good team going through an extended poor stretch. But taken together, they represent a tough-to-swallow lineup thinner that could decide a razor-thin AL East (if not more).

Yankees losing Jasson Dominguez, Giancarlo Stanton together is bigger blow

Not to mention, of course, that Dominguez seemed poised to serve as insurance for the potential second-half Alex Verdugo slide that Red Sox fans have so helpfully warned us about repeatedly. Now, Dominguez has gone from overqualified speculative relief to a moot point at the worst possible time.

Cosmically, the stars have often been aligned for the 2024 Yankees, with unexpected depth pieces picking up the pace repeatedly when frontline names have faltered. The consensus is they've stayed relatively healthy, a ridiculous-sounding thing to say when their Cy Young was on the shelf until last week. In reality, they've been dinged up on and off, but the world hasn't really noticed much, given all the incredible bits of kismet that have led to world class fill-in work.

Finally, the dam broke during the toughest week of the year, with Dominguez missing the least convenient month of the season, then waiting around another month to ruminate on what could've been. Neither injury would matter much in the grand scheme of things without the other. Unfortunately, we didn't even have to wait a week for the month-long extended gut punch to commence.