Standing at six-feet even and weighing 160 pounds while dripping wet, Jose Dominguez is not the most intimidating figure on the mound. But when his 100-mph fastball blazes past hitters, they quickly forget about his stature.
The 23-year-old relief pitcher from the Dominican Republic made his MLB debut last night, throwing a stunning eighth inning to bridge a gap to the ninth for the Los Angeles Dodgers. This crucial setup role has been plagued by poor outings for the Dodgers all season, so Dominguez’s performance was highly appreciated.
Dominguez has been known to top the radar guns at 103, but kept it down to a modest 101 in his first showing. Dismantling the second-half of the Philadelphia Phillies batting order in only 16 pitches, Dominguez threw a 1-2-3 inning and a standing ovation on his way to the dugout.
Dodgers fans ought to be extremely excited about this young man’s outing and should look forward to many like it in the future. Skeptics will hear of his performance and claim he is just another high-heat hurler with only one pitch, but Dominguez will surprise them as well. The former starter has a complete bag of tricks including a nasty slider, a cutter and a turtle-like change-up when paired with the fastball.
Dominguez brings a fresh arm to a depleted Dodgers bullpen for which manager Don Mattingly is very grateful. Mattingly will look to bring Dominguez out in relief again, but said that he does not want to put the young pitcher in high pressure situations right away.
With a great arsenal of pitches topped off by a sizzling heater, Dominguez could become a fan favorite in no time flat. Dodgers fans everywhere would love to see him become a staple in a bullpen that needs some serious help.