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It took two years and three months, but Seranthony Dominguez is finally back in the big leagues.
Dominguez, who worked his way back with 19 minor-league appearances this summer, has not appeared in a major-league game since June 5, 2019. He was shut down at that time with an elbow injury and the Phillies tried the rest-and-rehab route. He suffered a setback in spring training 2020 and his Tommy John surgery was delayed until July of that year because of COVID protocols.
Soon to be 27 years old, Dominguez turned heads as a 23-year-old rookie in 2018. He began his career by allowing two hits in 14⅔ scoreless innings, and went on to make 43 scoreless appearances out of 53. He struck out 74 hitters in 58 innings with a 2.95 ERA.
He looked then like a closer or high-leverage reliever the Phillies could count on for the foreseeable future. One inning in Miami this weekend will not show the world whether he’s all the way back, but his return has been long-anticipated and the Phils have to feel good about at least getting him back to the bigs in 2021.
They need another total bullpen overhaul this offseason. Ian Kennedy, Archie Bradley and Hector Neris are free agents. Jose Alvarado, Sam Coonrod and Brogdon are under team control, as is Dominguez. The Phillies need to add a handful of relievers who have experience, legitimate weapons or both.