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Seranthony Dominguez to be re-examined, still doesn’t expect to have Tommy John Surgery


Seranthony Dominguez has missed a majority of the 2019 season. (Ian D’Andrea)

2019 has essentially turned into a lost season for Seranthony Dominguez, which, unfortunately for the Philadelphia Phillies, is the case for quite a few of the relievers they entered the season expecting to lean on late in games. But Dominguez, 24, still doesn’t believe he’ll need to have Tommy John Surgery to correct a UCL injury that has sidelined him since early June.

Saturday, Dominguez told the collective media, including Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic, that doctors will examine his right elbow next week and determine how he will proceed from there. While it’s good news that Dominguez still doesn’t think he’ll require Tommy John Surgery – which, at this stage, would likely mean he would miss the entire 2020 season – Montemurro noted that Dominguez didn’t “sound optimistic” when discussing his chances to rejoin the Phillies before the 2019 season concludes. Todd Zolecki of MLB.com says that Dominguez did have “some soreness” the last time he attempted to throw.

During the same June series in San Diego where the Phillies lost Andrew McCutchen for the season with a torn ACL, Dominguez was forced to leave a relief appearance. Though it initially appeared he may require Tommy John Surgery, noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews instead decided to give the second-year reliever a platelet-rich plasma injection in his elbow. He’s yet to return since then.

In 53 games in his rookie season, the right-hander posted a 2.85 FIP and 1.3 fWAR. However, after flashing elite potential in his rookie season, Dominguez had a 4.01 ERA and 3.96 FIP in 27 games this season.

Gabe Kapler’s bullpen has been decimated by injuries in 2019, as Dominguez, Tommy Hunter, Pat Neshek, David Robertson, Victor Arano, Edubray Ramos and Adam Morgan all currently on the injured list. The only two pieces left standing from the Phillies Opening Day bullpen – which the team hoped could be a strong unit – are Jose Alvarez and Hector Neris.

Though it’s hard to fault a general manager for his bullpen getting crushed with injuries, it’s fair to wonder if general manager Matt Klentak may have gone back to the well one too many times with veterans like Hunter, Neshek and Robertson. Hunter and Neshek aren’t under contract past 2019, so they’ve likely made their last appearances in red pinstripes. Robertson, 34, is due to make $11 million in 2020, though there’s a very real chance he’ll miss the entire season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery in mid-August.

Given the expectations that the Phillies entered the 2019 season with, it certainly would have been a tough pill to swallow if Dominguez had to undergo season-ending Tommy John Surgery earlier this season. Though there’s no indication yet that this will ultimately transpire, it would be an even tougher pill to swallow if Dominguez spent the bulk of the 2019 season trying to rehab and then ultimately needed Tommy John Surgery anyway, which, at this stage, would put him out for the entire 2020 season. Suffice to say, Dominguez’s appointment next week will be watched closely by those with and around the Phillies.

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