The once dominate Phillies reliever Seranthony Dominguez has been on a rollercoaster since his breakout season two years ago. After suffering a UCL injury in the middle of the 2019 season, Dominguez, who spent that offseason rehabbing his arm, was re-injured in spring training right before the pandemic halted the world.
Dominguez ultimately got Tommy John surgery in late July of 2020, months after a doctor recommended it. Those months, however, were filled with difficult decisions, roadblocks at every turn, and regret. Here is the timeline of events dating back to June 2019, when Dominguez first injured his elbow:
- June 2019: A doctor told Dominguez he did not need surgery for the damaged ligament in his right arm. He rested until late August, when he resumed throwing again and experienced mild pain. He did not return that season, but had a successful offseason recovering.
- March 8, 2020: Dominguez re-aggravates his injury in a spring training relief appearance.
- March 12: Dominguez gets an MRI on his arm. A few days late, while baseball was already paused by the pandemic, doctors recommended Tommy John surgery. Dr. James Andrew, the orthopedist who diagnosed Seranthony's injury, suspended all non-emergency surgeries to comply with state orders.
- With no clear timetable and a pregnant girlfriend back in the Dominican Republic, Dominguez flew home. "I didn’t feel too comfortable knowing that my girlfriend and my family needed me back home," said Dominguez.
- The Phillies scheduled a surgery for May, but Dominguez was twice denied boarding a plane to the US.
- Finally, Dominguez arrived on June 4, but the day before surgery, he developed flu-like symptoms. He tested positive for COVID-19 that day. His illness delayed the surgery until July 30.
It's as unfortunate as it gets, and the slight regret to not get the surgery sooner still lingers.
“Looking back now, of course, I would have done the surgery the day after I got hurt,” Domínguez said last week. “But, obviously, that’s pointless.”
“I’ll be honest with you: I know that my decision probably affected my career and it may affect it still a little more. But there’s nothing I can do about it anymore."
Dominguez was in a tough position in 2019. Despite an up-and-down season, the Phillies bullpen needed him at the end of the season. If it wasn't for some pain when he resumed throwing in August, he might have rejoined the team during the NL East division race in September.
This past week, Dominguez was moved to the 60-day injury list. Joe Girardi said there is a possibility he joins the team this season, but the Phillies are happy overall with where he is in the rehab process after a successful surgery in July.