CLEARWATER, Fla. — Seranthony Dominguez, owner of perhaps the coolest first name in Phillies camp, is not quite sure where his name comes from. It might have something to do with a TV show, Dominguez said.
But the pitcher served a reminder on Thursday why he’s a name to know among the team’s pitching prospects. Dominguez struck out the side in his one inning of work during a 9-0 exhibition win over the University of Tampa. He allowed a leadoff single in the seventh before using his high-80s slider for two strikeouts and then recording the third out with his 96-mph fastball.
“Just kind of electric stuff and the bravado of a seasoned veteran,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “That was awesome.”
The Phillies plan to move Dominguez to the bullpen, where his slider-fastball combination could thrive. He’ll likely start the season at double A, and the 23-year-old could be a quick riser. He struck out 75 batters last season in 621/3 innings at high-A Clearwater. He was limited during the year with a shoulder injury.
“It doesn’t matter how I do it, I just want to get my job done,” Dominguez said. “I’m going to stay locked in and take advantage of my opportunity.”
The Phillies used Thursday’s exhibition game to look at several promising arms. Jose Taveras, Tom Eshelman, Franklyn Kilome, Cole Irvin, Ranger Suarez, and Enyel De Los Santos each pitched scoreless innings. Taveras, Eshelman, and De Los Santos are expected to start the season at triple A. Kilome, Irvin, and Suarez could be together at Reading. Each made a nice impression on Thursday.
“We were excited to see Suarez as well,” Kapler said. “He did exactly what we thought he would do. Pounded the strike zone and wanted the ball back immediately. Commanded the outside of the plate and showed us that crossfire delivery with a little deception.”
The Phillies will open Grapefruit League play on Friday in neighboring Dunedin against the Blue Jays. Nick Pivetta, who is expected to be the team’s No. 4 starter, will start. Mark Leiter Jr. will also see action. Leiter will likely start the season in the bullpen but could make a push to contend for the fifth rotation spot.
Jesmuel Valentin spent time in right field on Thursday as the infielder will play some outfield this spring as he contends for a reserve role. … The Phillies and Blue Jays will have a moment of silence before Friday’s game for Roy Halladay…Thursday’s game was extended an extra inning so Kapler could get a look at Brandon Leibrandt and play Zach Green, who came over from minor-league camp. Green homered. “He’ll have that story to tell forever,” Kapler said.