At the end of May, I took a trip with a friend up I-95 to see the Phillies play the Mets. We splurged for fancy seats right behind home plate and actually managed to have decent, respectful conversation with our seat neighbors for most of the game. Seranthony Dominguez was one late-game topic of conversation that, surprisingly, garnered a lot of chatter and respect from the Mets fans that surrounded us. In addition to an appreciation for one of the coolest names in all of sports, Dominguez’s outing that day impressed even the crankiest of the Mets fans around us.
Shortly after that series, the Phillies changed managers and with that change came an evolution of Dominguez’s role that made his 2022 season even more impressive. Rob Thomson had a vision of what Dominguez was capable of, and made one of the biggest and most influential changes of the season — making him the closer.
Seranthony Dominguez records his first save since 2018 and the Phillies have won 15 of 17. pic.twitter.com/ktYBWHgFei— Michael Quinn (@ByMichaelQuinn) June 19, 2022
2022 stats: 54 G, 51.0 IP, 36 H, 18 R (17 ER), 61 K, 22 BB, 3.00 ERA (136 ERA+), 1.5 WAR
Seranthony Dominguez had one of the most dominant and successful seasons by a Phillies reliever in quite a while, establishing himself as a World Series-caliber high-leverage weapon. In the first half of the season, he allowed just 32 (21 H, 11 BB) baserunners while striking out an impressive 41. In late June, Todd Zolecki wrote about how historically dominant Dominguez had been thus far.
His dominance continued, for the most part, into the playoffs as well. His only hiccup was his blown save in game 5 of the NLCS where he gave up three wild pitches in one inning. Though, the terrible weather (which Padres pitchers did not have to endure) had a large impact on that performance. He gave up just seven hits and two earned runs (one in that absurd game 5) and struck out 18 in nine appearances (40 batters).
Dominguez really only had one bad performance during the regular season, a five-run blown save against the Braves in September. He also missed 3 weeks at the end of August and beginning of September with triceps tightness.
Seranthony has 2 years left of arbitration and is projected to make about $2 million in 2023. Dombrowski seems to be in a “spend it all” mode this offseason, but with other priorities still to address and 2023 salary cap space dwindling quickly, it’s unlikely Dominguez will get an extension this year. If he repeats his 2022 performance next season his price may go up a lot, but that’s a concern for the future.
Seranthony Dominguez just having a little fun before the tarp gets pulled pic.twitter.com/1GQ8MoU1cU— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 23, 2022