The Philadelphia Phillies received good news pertaining to reliever Seranthony Dominguez Wednesday – there’s still no reason to think that he’ll need Tommy John Surgery to recover from a UCL injury that has cost him much of the 2019 season.
Todd Zolecki of MLB.com said last weekend that Dominguez – who hasn’t pitched since early June – did have “some soreness” the last time he attempted to throw. That led to the 24-year-old reliever being re-evaluated today by Dr. Michael Ciccotti, the Phillies team doctor. Before Wednesday evening’s Phillies-Cincinnati Reds tilt, manager Gabe Kapler told the collective media, including Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia, that Dominguez’s appointment went well. Though there’s only a few weeks left in the regular season, Dominguez will resume his throwing program, per Salisbury, as opposed to just being shut down for the remainder of the season.
After an impressive rookie campaign that saw him post a 2.85 FIP in 53 games, Dominguez got off to a slow start in 2019, as his ERA sat at 4.01 through his first 27 appearances of the season. The last time Dominguez appeared in a game was in a 7-5 win over the San Diego Padres on June 5. He left that appearance with the elbow discomfort that has turned his 2019 into a largely lost season. To put in perspective how long it’s been since Dominguez last pitched, the series that he was injured in was the same series that saw Jay Bruce make his Phillies debut and Andrew McCutchen suffer a season-ending ACL tear. So it’s been a minute.
Certainly, it’s good news that Dominguez’s injury hasn’t required Tommy John Surgery, which would have ended his 2019 season and likely 2020 as well However, Dr. James Andrews decided to give the second-year reliever a platelet-rich plasma injection in his elbow in mid-June and Dominguez has yet to return. Though the Phillies are still very much involved in the National League Wild Card race, it’s fair to wonder if shutting him down at this stage and attempting to assure he’s 100 percent healthy heading into 2020 wouldn’t be the best path forward for all parties involved.
Dominguez is, of course, part of a bullpen that’s been decimated by injuries in 2019. Pat Neshek is celebrating his 39th birthday Wednesday on the injured list for the second time this season. Dominguez and Neshek are joined on the injured list by Tommy Hunter, David Robertson, Victor Arano, Edubray Ramos and Adam Morgan.
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