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Seranthony suffers setback

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The Phillies’ reliever hit a bump in his road to recovery from an ulnar collateral ligament injury

MLB: Spring Training-Philadelphia Phillies at Toronto Blue Jays
Things were going well for Seranthony Dominguez before Sunday
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

If you were hoping that Seranthony Dominguez was going to be the Phillies’ primary setup man in 2020, the news out of camp on Wednesday was not pleasant. (Although I’m not sure this news was especially welcome even if you weren’t counting on him.)

Dominguez - who burst onto the scene as a dominating reliever in 2018 - missed most of the 2019 season with a strained ulnar collateral ligament. Many feared that he was headed for Tommy John surgery, but doctors recommended rest and rehab instead. Until this week, it looked like that approach was successful.

But as first reported by Jim Salisbury, Dominguez suffered a setback when he faced the Blue Jays in a one-inning appearance on Sunday.

The severity of the injury is still unknown, but when a player thought to be destined for Tommy John surgery has a setback, it usually isn’t good news. He may ultimately have to undergo the procedure which would cost him the entire 2020 season, and probably a sizable chunk of 2021 as well. At the very least, it seems he will be starting the season on the Injured List. Dominguez certainly won’t be lonely there since Victor Arano, Tommy Hunter, and David Robertson are also expected to be sidelined on Opening Day.

In his stead, eighth inning duties are expected to be spread among Jose Alvarez, Adam Morgan, and Francisco Liriano. While the team might ultimately be able to get by with those three, this isn’t a good sign for a team that was hoping to put the bad injury luck of 2019 behind it.