Phillies 2019 season preview: Relief pitcher Seranthony Dominguez

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 26: Seranthony Dominguez #58 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches during the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday, May 26, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 26: Seranthony Dominguez #58 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches during the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday, May 26, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 07: Seranthony Dominguez #58 of the Philadelphia Phillies in action against the New York Mets at Citi Field on September 7, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Phillies defeated the Mets 4-3. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Dominguez’s role in 2019

Dominguez should wind up in the same fireman role as he did last year. He remains one of the better relievers in the bullpen and showed last year that he can handle pitching in big situations. Kapler likely won’t designate anyone as the team’s “closer” (which is okay) but he will have the group of relievers who he trusts in big situations.

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Thankfully, Dominguez will not be the only one in this group. David Robertson has been one of the most consistent relievers in the league in the last few years. He will make a huge impact late in games and help take the pressure off the sophomore Dominguez. Robertson isn’t concerned about closing; he said as long as he is pitching in the back end of games (seventh inning or later) he will be content.

As a whole, the bullpen should be better this year.

In addition to Robertson, the team acquired Juan Nicasio, Jose Alvarez, and James Pazos during the offseason. Pat Neshek being healthy all year and Hector Neris returning to form create a strong bullpen on paper. They all should be an upgrade over guys like Adam Morgan, Hoby Milner, Austin Davis, and Yacksel Rios.

An effective offense should also take pressure off Dominguez since there shouldn’t be as many close situations late in games. Even when there are, Kapler will not be forced use to Dominguez nearly every night with the other effective options now in the bullpen. That is a stark contrast from the first half of 2018 where Dominguez was the only trustworthy option.