Seranthony Dominguez looks dominant in Phillies spring training debut
If Seranthony Dominguez can return to form, the Philadelphia Phillies bullpen will be substantially stronger.
And as the world saw last year (and for much of the last decade) they can’t win without a workable bullpen.
Earlier this week, he made his spring debut and struck out the side in a victory over the Detroit Tigers:
And here he is at camp the week before:
After Dominguez’s performance against the Tigers, manager Joe Girardi praised his first outing:
"“He was really good, much different than we saw at the end of last year. Just the life on his ball. We saw 97 (mph) today. And it’s his first outing. His slider was good. Just the confidence that you could see in him. He didn’t labor one bit. He was like, ‘Here it is. This is who I am. This is my stuff. I’m going to make good pitches.’“That’s a huge piece if he gets back to where he was. Huge piece.”"
And Dominguez, who has worked hard to get to this point, says he feels ready to contribute:
"“I’ve been working very hard for this moment. I felt really good, like strong, like I’m ready to compete, ready to get people out.I was happy with the slider because it wasn’t the way I wanted it last year. The movement was really good, like straight down.”"
He was also thrilled to hear that his pitches were touching 97 mph:
"“I was worried because I want to be the guy that I was before. I know velocity isn’t everything, but I like it. I love it. The most important thing is being consistent and making quality pitches. But I like velo, too. I’m not going to lie.”"
Dominguez made his debut in 2018 and was excellent in that first season. He posted a 2.95 ERA over 53 appearances, finished 24 games, and earned 16 saves.
The following season, he only pitched in 27 games before getting sidelined with elbow injuries that eventually led to Tommy John. It’s been a long road back; he finally returned last year, making one scoreless appearance.
The 2021 Phillies bullpen tied MLB’s record for most blown saves in a single season; their 34 blowups included a few games with multiple blown saves. Building a better bullpen was a top priority for the front office, and they signed Corey Knebel, Jeurys Familia, and Brad Hand, and claimed Kent Emanuel off waivers from the Houston Astros.