2013 in brief: Somewhat surprisingly recalled in late June, showed more potential than production before a July quad injury that was supposed to shelve him for only two weeks took the rest of his season.
2014 status: Likely to split time between Los Angeles & Albuquerque.
You know, you’d think I’d have more to say about Jose Dominguez after a season in which he surprisingly made his big league debut in June. But then again, after a season-opening suspension in the minors and a season-ending quad injury that just never seemed to heal, Dominguez only did pitch 33.2 professional innings this year.
We were excited when he got recalled, anyway:
Dominguez, 23 in August, is known nearly as much for the two drug-related suspensions that have cost him time (50 games in 2010, 25 this year) as he is for the fastball that has been known to reach 103 miles per hour. In 2010, Dominguez tested positive for Stanozolol; it’s unknown what tripped him up this year, but it’s not thought to be a PED since he didn’t get popped for 100 games. (Most likely, it was failure to comply with a procedural issue related to his treatment or initial suspension.)
In 283.1 minor league innings, Dominguez has struck out 312; in 25.1 innings this year between Chattanooga & Albuquerque, he’s whiffed 40. I liked having Moylan around, but I’m excited to see what an arm like Dominguez can do.
The much-discussed heat was no mirage — in his time in the bigs, Dominguez averaged 98.5 MPH on his fastball. But despite that and the big strikeout numbers in the minors, it didn’t translate into missed bats in the bigs, because Dominguez whiffed only four of the 39 hitters he faced. Obviously, speed alone doesn’t work in the big leagues, and nearly 80% of Dominguez’ pitches were fastball. While I’m certainly not putting too much importance on 39 plate appearances from a guy that young, it’s something he’ll need to work on.
On July 22, Dominguez left a game in Toronto with what was at the time thought to be a minor quad injury. The very next day, Ken Gurnick reported that Dominguez was able to throw “with no discomfort,” but he was still placed on the disabled list to make room for the arrival of Carlos Marmol. Three days later, Dodgers.com reported that he was expected to miss the minimum 15 days. But somehow, we never saw him again, not even when rosters expanded in September, and he didn’t even manage to make any rehab appearances.
Still only heading into his age-23 season, Dominguez should have a bright future ahead of him. That said, between the limited amount of time he managed in 2013, the addition of so many veteran relievers, and the fact that he has options remaining, he’s all but certain to start 2014 in Triple-A. It’s probably safe to say we’ll see him again at some point.
Next! Was Brian Wilson as good as you think?