Previewing Jose Dominguez
The Rays have added an eighth rookie to the roster, swapping out relievers by optioning Kirby Yates and recalling Jose Dominguez.
Dominguez, who came over from the Dodgers in the Joel Peralta trade, possesses what could be the organization’s best right-handed fastball. His heater sits in the upper-90s and features enough life to miss bats, even on mistakes. When Dominguez wants to slow things down, he turns to a mid-80s slider that grades as an average (or thereabout) pitch, but that could play up due to his fastball’s quality.
The biggest concern about Dominguez—beyond his past injury woes and PED-related suspension—is his location. Put simply, he struggles to throw the ball over the plate. Predictably, Dominguez’s delivery contains a number of command-reducing aspects: his back elbow gets high above his shoulder, leading to timing issues; his head jerks to the first-base side right around release, affecting his posture and balance; and, as if those red flags weren’t enough, his arm recoils afterward.
If the Rays can help Dominguez throw more quality strikes, or more strikes in general—he hasn’t walked fewer than 4.5 batters per nine since rookie ball—he could become a late-inning fixture. Otherwise, he might be known as the strong-armed middle reliever who failed to fulfill his promise.