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Phillies call up reliever Seranthony Dominguez as Adam Morgan hits the DL

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The Phillies’ No. 11 prospect comes up, while the bearded wonder heads to the disabled list.

Philadelphia Phillies Photo Day Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Just a few weeks after the manager Gabe Kapler went to see reliever Seranthony Dominguez pitch in one of his first outings with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, the Phillies have called him up. He’s replacing our bearded bullpen wonder Adam Morgan, who is headed to the DL with a back strain.

Where has Seranthony Dominguez been lately?

MLB Pipeline has 23-year-old Dominguez as the Phillies’ No. 11 prospect. He was a starter, but he transitioned to the bullpen this year and the results have been pretty good. That’s actually an understatement, because as you know, he’s already been called up to the majors.

Before this year, Dominguez hadn’t seen an inning anywhere above High-A, so his ascent has been pretty quick. He was promoted to Double-A Reading this year, and spent 13 innings there before the Phillies moved him up to the IronPigs. He’s pitched a whole 3.2 innings for the IronPigs, with a 0.00 ERA. In all, he has a 1.62 ERA in 2018. Oh, and he throws fast. Wicked fast. His fastball can touch 99mph, which is just super fun.

What does this mean for the bullpen?

If someone was being sent down, it would be a big deal. Unfortunately, this move is about replacing an injured player.

Ugh. Adam Morgan was one of just two left handers in the Phillies’ bullpen, and with Morgan on the disabled list, that number is back down to one.

Could he steal the closer’s role from Hector Neris?

Maybe someday, but not right now. Seranthony, which is the only name I ever want to use to refer to him, used to be a starter. Actually, he was a starter as recently as a few months ago, and so he has the ability to go a little longer in games. Considering the Vince Velasquez-Nick Pivetta-other backend starter situation with the rotation, the Phillies need a long man besides Drew Hutchinson. (At least until Mark Leiter Jr. is back.)

And it’s way too early to take the closer’s role away from Neris. He had a bad outing on Sunday (a really, really bad outing), but he deserves another chance. Because that version of Neris isn’t normal. Yes, he can turn even mundane outings into unnecessary adventures, but he’s earned the opportunity to do better. Neris will have to continue to suck and Seranthony will have to pitch really, really well in order for anything to change.

The Phillies could have called-up Hoby Milner again, but it’s exciting that they went with Seranthony. Let’s see what he can do.