WASHINGTON -- Seranthony Domínguez’s 2021 return to the Phillies’ bullpen always seemed to be ambitious.
But maybe, just maybe, he could recover quickly from Tommy John surgery and help the Phillies in September. But as Domínguez’s rehabilitation clock expires on Wednesday, he will continue to pitch at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Domínguez, 26, needs more time. He is not ready for the big leagues.
Domínguez had a 15.00 ERA in nine rehab appearances in August, including his last three at Triple-A. In nine innings, he allowed 15 runs on 15 hits (including four home runs) and six walks. He struck out 11.
“His velocity is pretty good, his slider is good, but he’s been inconsistent,” Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Tuesday at Nationals Park. “He still could come back in September, being on an option and being in a position where all of a sudden he put it together. That would be fantastic. But he’d be like everybody else. You’d just have to see how he does.”
Domínguez has not thrown a pitch for the Phillies since June 5, 2019. He had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow on July 30, 2020.
It typically takes 12-18 months to recover from the surgery.
“I guess anytime you have these guys coming back you’re hopeful,” Dombrowski said. “But I’ve also seen it take a long time. He’s been out such a long time. We’re encouraged by where he is, but right now he would have to be more consistent to come back and help us.”
Realmuto not ready
J.T. Realmuto did some light work at first base to test his left ankle during batting practice Tuesday. The Phillies hoped he might feel good enough to get into that night’s lineup, but he began the game on the bench.
Rookie Matt Vierling, who is an outfielder by trade, started at first base instead.
Vierling joined the team on Tuesday when the Phillies placed Travis Jankowski on the paternity list. The Phils chose Vierling over outfielder Mickey Moniak because they are facing a few left-handed pitchers over the next several days in Washington, Miami and Milwaukee. Vierling hits right-handed. Moniak hits left-handed. Vierling also plays first base, although he has played there just six games in his Minor League career.
“They said he played well,” manager Joe Girardi said about his conversations with Lehigh Valley’s staff. “He did a lot of work last year in instructional league. I’m sure there’s little things that he’s not going to be as experienced as Rhys [Hoskins], but he caught the ball and threw the ball fine.”