Scott Lauber The Philadelphia Investigator
Seranthony Domínguez ran sprints into the outfield on Saturday before lightly tossing a ball against a screen.
“Much better,” he said.
A week after the Phillies put him on the 15-day disabled list with tendonitis in his right triceps, Domínguez has yet to play wrestling. Until he does, the reliever ace can’t guess how much longer he’ll be sidelined.
The Phillies will be conservative with Domínguez, especially since he didn’t pitch in 2020 and missed most of last season after Tommy John’s surgery. But Domínguez is confident he can return around September 2, when he can return.
“I feel like it’s not going to be too much (longer),” he said. “I think I will be back soon. It’s going to depend on how the arm feels in the throwing process.
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Domínguez was a resounding success. In 46 appearances, he has a 1.64 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 44 innings. He throws harder than before surgery, averaging 98.1 mph with his sinker and often scraping 100 mph.
As the season progressed, Domínguez became the Phillies’ most reliable reliever. Although caretaker manager Rob Thomson doesn’t use Domínguez as a closer, per se he deploys him in the most crucial situation of a match.
Domínguez couldn’t pinpoint exactly when he started to feel what he described as “tightness” in his triceps. It happened earlier in the season, then calmed down after he got through it. When he experienced less mobility last week in Cincinnati, he reported it to the coaching staff.
After a series of anti-inflammatory drugs and plyometrics with the athletic trainers, Domínguez said “now I can move my arm better.”
“What I think (caused it) is that I was out for a long time and the stress on my arm,” Domínguez said. “I pitched over 40 innings this year. I spent about three years not launching more than 20. The most important thing for me right now is to be 100%.
With Domínguez out and Corey Knebel lost for the season with a tear in his shoulder cap, the Phillies’ end-inning options are narrowed to southpaw Brad Hand, trade deadline addition David Robertson and Connor Brogdon, whose speed dropped this week.
Thomson said Brogdon did not report arm pain. The Phillies believe he’s dealing with late-season fatigue.
“I spoke to him today and said, ‘I realize we’ve been tough on you, and most guys in the league, their speed is going to slow down a bit at this time of year’ Thomson said, “So fight and keep going. Keep your faith. I have full faith in you. Just keep fighting.”
Domínguez’s return – with his 100 mph throttle – would allow the rest of the bullpen to fall back.
“I don’t know about 100,” Domínguez said with a laugh. “Maybe we’ll save 100 for the World Series.”