Philadelphia Phillies manager Gabe Kapler issued what was seemingly the first positive injury update of the 2019 season earlier this week. Friday, the Phillies got even more good injury news.
Last week, the Phillies placed reliever Seranthony Dominguez on the 10-day injured list with a UCL injury. The thought process at that time was that Dominguez was likely headed for season-ending Tommy John Surgery.
Instead, orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews gave Dominguez a positive second opinion this week – he doesn’t need Tommy John Surgery.
Ahead of Friday evening’s game in Atlanta, Kapler told the collective media, which included Scott Lauber of The Philadelphia Inquirer, that Andrews gave Dominguez a platelet-rich plasma injection in his right elbow. If Dominguez had undergone Tommy John Surgery, it would have certainly ended his 2019 campaign, and potentially cut into early 2020. With the injection, Dominguez is four-to-six weeks away from throwing again, but could return after the All-Star Break.
Dominguez was dominant at times during 2018, his rookie season. In 53 games, the right-hander posted a 2.85 FIP and 1.3 fWAR. Dominguez has yet to follow that up in 2019 – he has a 4.01 ERA and 3.96 FIP in 27 games this season – but the 24-year-old righty could be a major boost if he’s able to be effective in the second half of the 2019 season.
The Phillies bullpen has dealt with a slew of injuries in 2019. Victor Arano is unlikely to return this season after having arthroscopic surgery on his elbow last month. David Robertson threw for the first time this week since being sidelined with an elbow injury in mid-April. Adam Morgan was in the midst of a breakout season before going down with a forearm strain late in May. Pat Neshek is expected to be activated in the coming days, but he’s been on the injured list with a shoulder injury since the Phillies visited Wrigley Field in late May. Edubray Ramos was activated earlier this week after missing over a month with a shoulder injury of his own. And Tommy Hunter, who hasn’t pitched in 2019 because of an elbow injury, is apparently closing in on a rehab stint.
Prior to the July 31 trade deadline, Phillies general manager Matt Klentak may very well look to add to the bullpen. But with major holes in the starting rotation and center field, the Phillies may not be inclined to make a major addition to the bullpen, as they may instead feel that as the relievers they have internally get healthy, the bullpen should have a chance to improve on its own.
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