Deep dive into Serantani Dominguez’s injury offers positive outlook – Daily Local

PHILADELPHIA — Serantani Dominguez’s right triceps scan showed no structural damage, renewing optimism Monday that the Phillies’ closer could return to the bullpen around the Sept. 2 date when he is eligible to be activated from the injured list.

Dominquez’s prescription is rest. “He might be out for about five days and then we’ll start again,” manager Rob Thomson said.

From there, it’s pain monitoring and workload, which has been the approach all season with a player who took nearly two years to recover from Tommy John surgery.

Dominguez is 6-4 with nine saves and a 1.64 ERA in 46 appearances in 2022. The Phillies were hesitant to give him a closer role this season, but he performed so well that it became necessary. He gave up a run in two-thirds of an inning in a loss on Aug. 17 at Cincinnati, his last outing.

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Bryce Harper hit the cage on Monday. On Tuesday, he will do so in front of live pitching for the first time in two months.

Harper will make a rehab start at Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Tuesday. He will be designated as the striker from Tuesday to Saturday, with a day off on Sunday to assess his progress. If all goes well, the lead will be back on Monday for the Arizona game, Thomson said.

Harper hasn’t played since Blake Snell broke his thumb on a fastball on June 25. He had surgery to insert pins and is looking to get back into the lineup. When he returns to Arizona, it will be nine weeks.

Harper is hitting .318 with 15 homers, 48 ​​RBI and a .985 OPS in 64 games this season. Because he has lingering damage in his pitching elbow, his return will be as a DH. That gives the Phillies a week to resolve their other “too injured to pitch” situation with Kyle Schwarber.

Thomson had good news on that front as well, with Schwarber working his way through the infield and reversing the drill on his nagging strained calf. The hope is that Schwarber can return to the field on Tuesday or Wednesday.

The calf cost Schwarber a week out of the starting lineup from August 12-19. He handled leadoff duties in all four games of the Mets’ streak, going 6-for-17 with a double and a triple. That meant plenty of chances to check out the calf on the base paths.

“He’s been running so well and he’s had so many opportunities to run that we feel really good,” Thomson said.

Rounding out the injured outfielders news, Brandon Marsh (knee, ankle) went through some movement drills. If all goes well, he could return to hitting in the cage this week for the first time since his embarrassing fall in Cincinnati last Tuesday.

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Monday replaced a battered bullpen that was forced to shoulder a heavy workload against the Mets. In search of extension, the Phillies signed Michael Plassmeyer to Triple-A. To make room, Tyler Cyr was designated for assignment.

Plassmeyer, 25, was a fourth-round pick by Seattle in 2018. The St. Louis native was acquired from San Francisco on June 8 in exchange for catcher Austin Vince.

Plassmeier started the season with an 0-6 record and a 7.38 ERA in 10 starts with Sacramento, but found something in Lehigh Valley. He is 4-2 with a 2.83 ERA in 11 starts and a 1.07 WHIP. Opponents are hitting just .218 against him, though he has allowed 11 home runs.

Thomson said Plassmeier was selected for his ability to offer length: He last pitched Aug. 17 against Buffalo, pitching 87 over four so-so innings in which he walked six.

The Mets have heavily taxed the bullpen, so Plassmeier is an insurance policy in case Noah Syndergaard struggles Monday in the series opener with Cincinnati. The Phillies’ bullpen was forced to go 15 innings (not counting Darrick Hall’s one-time cameo), allowing 16 hits and 12 earned runs. They faced 71 batters in a four game series loss to the Mets.

Among them was Cyr, who was called up to replace Dominguez and made his major league debut on Sunday. He allowed a solo home run to Brandon Nimmo, a double to Starling Marte in what turned out to be the decisive run, and then got Francisco Lindor to fly out.

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