The Phillies need these three guys to step up once they’re healthy.
Every team enters spring training with a clean slate, a 0-0 record and a chance to do something special in the upcoming season. For the Phillies, a change at the top hiring new manager Joe Girardi, along with the addition shortstop Didi Gregorius and pitcher Zack Wheeler have gotten the team off to a good start.
However more needs to fall into place for the Phillies to compete for a playoff spot this season. One of which is the return of a few key pieces to the mix, all of whom missed significant time last season. But what can we expect from some of those key pieces coming off the injured list?
Seranthony Dominguez came up in 2018 with electric stuff and dominated early on. Despite some struggles at times later, he still dazzled overall with 74 strikeouts in 58 innings, 16 saves, and only 32 hits and four home runs allowed.
He entered 2019 with a chance to be a lights-out closer. Rarely do things go as planned, however. Dominguez didn’t allow a run in 20 of 27 appearances but allowed 11 earned runs in 7 1/3 innings for a gaudy 13.50 in the other seven. As things turned out, Dominguez was suffering a sore right elbow and was shut down for the season on June 3. Fears were that he’d need Tommy John surgery, but fortunately, that wasn’t the case. All told, Dominguez finished 2019 with 4.01 ERA in 24 2/3 innings.
So far Dominguez is recovering nicely from the ulnar collateral ligament injury and will likely have his workload managed through the early parts of the season. A completely healthy Dominguez will be looked to get the ball to closer Hector Neris and could take over the role if Neris were to struggle.
It’s hard to gauge what to expect from Dominguez, but he should be closer to 2018 form when all is said and done. Expect an ERA in the low to mid 3’s, with walks down and strikeout per nine inning totals nearing his 11.5 rate of 2018.