Phillies 2019 season preview: Relief pitcher Seranthony Dominguez
Projections for Dominguez in 2019
The biggest factor for Dominguez’s success in 2019 will be limiting the walks he issues. His command was one of the main reasons why he moved to the bullpen.
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Before the All-Star break, Dominguez issued just six walks in 33.2 innings, which kept his ERA at 1.60 and his WHIP at 0.65. After the break, his ERA rose to 4.81 as he issued 16 walks in 24.1 innings. Opponents still only hit .180 against him, but they still had a .318 on-base percentage because Dominguez didn’t have his control. If Dominguez can keep his walk rate down for most of the year, he will enter the next echelon of relievers.
Baseball Prospectus’s PECOTA system projects Dominguez to regress a little bit in 2019. He is projected to finish the year with a 3.43 ERA, 3.78 deserved run average, 0.6 wins above replacement, 1.21 WHIP, 66 strikeouts, and 25 walks in 54.2 innings pitched.
Steamer has a similar projection with a 3.38 ERA, 81 strikeouts, 29 walks, and a 1.24 WHIP in 65 innings pitched.
When Dominguez was at his best in 2018, he had a case as a dark horse All-Star candidate. If he starts out the year like he did last year after his call-up, he could have a case yet again. He may not get as much attention with other All-Star caliber players now on the team, but if he is pitching tremendously, he will garner some attention.
As I stated previously, if Dominguez can limit his walks, he will have tons of success. That is a big if, but there shouldn’t be as much pressure on him this year to be a lockdown reliever.