The Philadelphia Phillies are unable to proceed one way or another with reliever Seranthony Dominguez currently.
General manager Matt Klentak confirmed Scott Lauber of The Philadelphia Inquirer‘s report that after suffering a setback in a spring training appearance, a team doctor recommended that Dominguez undergo Tommy John surgery. However, it’s not as simple as the Phillies snapping their fingers and having Dominguez undergo the procedure and begin his rehab as soon as possible.
“Medicine is not always black and white,” Klentak told the collective media Thursday, including Matt Breen of The Philadelphia Inquirer. There’s a possibility we may head down that road. But until we have a second opinion, we don’t want to make any firm declarations yet. For a lot of players, surgery is the last option they want to consider.
“If there’s a way to rehab something without going under the knife, a lot of players prefer that, particularly when it’s a surgery that could keep you out as long as Tommy John surgery could. Before we go down that road we just want to make sure that everybody’s in agreement that that’s the right course of action.”
And here’s the real issue right now in terms of reaching a resolution one way or another – in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Phillies can’t get a second opinion on Dominguez for a variety of reasons.
Both the United States and Dominican Republic – where Dominguez resides and is currently at – have a slew of travel restrictions designed to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. Breen says that Dominguez was supposed to receive his second opinion on March 16, but was unable to because of travel restrictions.
Further complicating matters is that some consider Tommy John surgery to be an elective procedure. New York Mets’ righty Noah Syndergaard underwent the surgery in late March, but it is fair to wonder if having the surgery is a good use of medical resources in our current climate. In any event, that doesn’t matter right now if the Phillies aren’t even certain that the 25-year-old will need the procedure.
Dominguez missed much of the 2019 season after suffering a UCL injury in San Diego in early June. While he didn’t ultimately need Tommy John surgery a year ago, Dominguez didn’t return during the 2019 campaign. After a seemingly productive offseason, he suffered a setback in his first Grapefruit League appearance.
The hard-throwing righty burst onto the scene in 2018, posting a 2.85 FIP in 53 games in his rookie season. The thought was that he would become a stalwart in the Phillies bullpen. However, if he undergoes Tommy John surgery, it would likely mean at least two full calendar years in between appearances at the major league level.
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