With 42 games left in the regular season and their first postseason appearance since 2011, the Phillies are looking at a potentially big loss in their bullpen.
Serantani Dominguez was ruled out for Saturday’s doubleheader against the New York Mets with a strained right triceps.
Manager Rob Thomson revealed Dominguez’s problem after the Phillies beat the Mets 4-1. It was clear something was wrong with Dominguez when he didn’t come out to close the game. David Robertson worked the final two innings for the save.
Thomson said Dominguez complained of tightness after Saturday morning’s game. He hasn’t pitched since allowing the only hit in a 1-0 loss Wednesday at Cincinnati.
Dominguez, who had Tommy John surgery in the summer of 2020, admitted he was worried about it.
“Yes, I am very worried because it is my hand,” he said. “Everything, I take it seriously because I have to take care of my hand. That’s the only way I can compete.”
Thomson said the Phillies will know more about Dominguez’s condition on Sunday. Dominguez said he will likely have an MRI in the coming days. Given the nature of the injury and Dominguez’s health history and his importance to the team, it wouldn’t be surprising if the pitcher ended up on the injured list.
Dominguez has been one of the Phillies’ most valuable players this season, appearing in 46 games and posting a 1.64 ERA and nine saves.
Earlier this week, the Phillies lost reliever Cory Knebel to a strained lat muscle. Knebel opened the season as the team’s closer until Dominguez took over in June.
The Phils have been plagued by injuries all season, the biggest of which has been Bryce Harper, who is expected to begin minor league rehab next week and return to the lineup around September 1st. Harper suffered a fractured thumb on his left hand when he fell under the tar on June 25.
Second baseman Jean Segura has missed 2 1/2 months with a broken finger, pitcher Zach Eflin is out with a knee injury and Kyle Schwarber recently suffered a calf strain.
Losing Dominguez would be another test for this club. And now that Robertson has made the deadline, he looks very smart. The veteran right-hander has a wealth of experience as a closer, and the Phillies will need it.