Seranthony Dominguez

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Fritz: Dominguez as closer would be a waste

Jack Fritz
May 21, 2018 - 11:14 am
Categories: 

Penciling in Seranthony Dominguez as the Phillies closer would be a waste of his immense talent.

Dominguez, 23, has been in the major leagues for less than two weeks. During that stretch he has dazzled us Phillies fans with his 96-98 MPH fastball that has some serious cut on it, his wipe-out slider and, most importantly, his demeanor when thrown into the crux of the game.

The Phillies have not been shy to throw their new weapon into high leverage spots early into his professional career. This all culminated on Saturday afternoon, as Dominguez completed his first save in the big leagues, a two-inning masterpiece that left Phillies fans salivating and exclaiming,

"We've found our closer of the future!"

Not so fast my friends.

What Dominguez flashed on Saturday and what he has really flashed ever since he's gotten to the big leagues, is the ability to come into any situation and put out fires. Whether it be for a third-of-an-inning or two innings, like we saw on Saturday, Dominguez has been thrown into almost every situation possible and has shone.

That's why penciling him in as the ninth inning guy would be a waste. Sure, are there days when Dominguez is going to be relied upon to close out a ballgame when the situation calls for it? Definitely.

But the real benefit of having a weapon like Dominguez is his uncanny ability to come into any situation, whether it be the sixth, seventh, eighth or ninth innings and stop rallies before they can get started. The balance of a baseball game isn't always decided in the ninth inning. Sometimes it can be earlier and Dominguez is going to be the guy that can go in and put out the fire before it spreads.

Let's say it's the seventh inning, you're holding a one-lead and your starter just left the game with second and third occupied and two outs. Enter in Dominguez, your best reliever, to shut that down and probably pitch the eighth as well and calm the game down.

Another scenario, it's the eighth inning and the heart of the opposing teams order is coming up to bat. You could argue getting through this would be more important than getting through the ninth, right? Enter in Dominguez for the eighth.

These are just some of the scenarios where there's benefits to not penciling Dominguez as your ninth inning guy only. Now, if the most important part of the game happens to fall in ninth inning, Dominguez better be in there. But in most cases, games are decided before the ninth inning and that's where I want Dominguez in the game, not left in the bullpen unused.

Man, what a weapon the Phillies have in Dominguez. A multi-inning, strikeout machine, flame-thrower who seems impossible to square up.

I'm getting giddy.

This really is the way the game is trending. It's so awesome to have a guy like Dominguez in this day-in-age. Not every team is lucky enough to have one. Some of the best relievers in baseball are these "first-guy-out-the-bullpen" types that can enter into a game at anytime and shut the door. Andrew Miller was really the first one utilized in this role by Terry Francona and now it has swept the sport. Miller damn near won the World Series for the Indians as this guy that could enter in the sixth, seventh, or eighth and shut teams down. Since Miller, another failed starter turned bullpen ace, we've seen guys like Josh Hader, Chad Green, Archie Bradley, Chris Devenski and Robert Gsellman pop-up around the big leagues and add major value to their teams respective bullpens.

Now, the Phillies have their own version of this guy and what a wonderful world it is.

If you want more Seranthony talk and much more on the Phils make sure you listen to this latest edition of High Hopes.