Seranthony Domínguez played a critical role during the Phillies 2022 run to the World Series. Coming off Tommy John surgery back in 2021, he remained relatively healthy during the course of the 2022 season as he missed just a little over two weeks due to right triceps tendinitis. He had a solid year out of the bullpen, pitching to a 6-5 record with 15 holds, a 3.00 ERA, a 1.14 WHIP, and 61 strikeouts in 51 innings of work over 54 appearances. He continued his dominance in the playoffs, giving up just two runs over 10 2/3 innings of work while walking only one and striking out a whopping 18 batters.
However, in 2023, things were a little different for Domínguez as he struggled with his control for a fair chunk in the first half of the season, posting an ERA close to 4.50 and a horrific WHIP of 1.56. Eventually, he went down with a left oblique strain that kept him out of action for over a month between June and July.
Following his activation from the IL, Domínguez redeemed himself to some extent down the stretch. He went 3-3 with two saves and four holds, along with a tidy 2.49 ERA, a 1.06 WHIP and 18 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings in his final 23 appearances in August and September. Perhaps his underlying injury was present earlier in the season and hindered his effectiveness, as he appeared to regain his dominant form from 2022 after recovery from the oblique injury.
Once again, he carried that momentum into the playoffs and put up zeroes across the board as he held opponents to zero earned runs in six appearances during the postseason.
The difference between a healthy Domínguez and an ailing one seems quite drastic. The key for the Phillies to have the dominant version of Domínguez anchoring their late-inning relief in 2024 is to ensure he is 100 percent.