Every spring training there are surprises – most are pleasant, some are not.
Without question, one of the most pleasant surprises of the spring was the emergence of 25-year-old right-hander Seth Rosin, who the Dodgers picked up in the Rule 5 Draft from the Phillies (via the Mets). Rosin appeared in 4 games, pitched 11 innings (the most of any Dodger reliever), allowed two runs on three hits for a 1.64 ERA while striking out 12 and walking two. There wasn’t a Dodger beat writer at Camelback Ranch who didn’t think that the Fargo, North Dakota native would not be on the Dodgers opening day roster – not one.
But while Rosin was proving himself to be an innings-eating workhorse, hard throwing 22-year-old right-hander Jose Dominguez was also having a very good spring – so good, in fact, that he did not allow a single run in his eight innings of work, while striking out nine and walking two. By every indication, Dominguez appeared to be the same fireballer that he was before injuring his left quadriceps last season.
And then came the Australia trip.
Although Rosin made the trip with the team, he did not appear in either of the two games, whereas Dominguez, who also made the trip, did – and it was a nightmare. Dominguez faced four batters, gave up three runs on one hit while walking two. He never made it out of the 8th inning and left Sydney with an ERA of 81.00 (that is not a typo) – all of this in a game that mattered.
Shortly after the Dodgers returned from their trip abroad with a 2-0 record to resume spring training play, another surprise occurred. The Dodgers designated Rosin for assignment. Poof! Just like that the guy who was thought to be a lock in the Dodgers bullpen was gone. It didn’t take rocket science to realize that Rosin would never clear waivers and, of course, he did not. He was scooped up in a heartbeat by the Texas Rangers. Rosin was gone and Dominguez remained on the Dodgers 40-man roster.
On Thursday night, Dominguez was brought in to relieve Zack Greinke, who pitched an absolute gem going six strong innings and allowing three runs on five hits while striking out two. Greinke exited the game with a 4-3 lead thanks to two solo home runs by Hanley Ramirez.
Once again Dominguez was unable to make it out of the inning, allowing four runs (two earned) on four hits and one walk. His only out recorded was a strikeout, but not before he blew the save and eventually suffered the 7-5 loss to the Angels. Granted, this was only an exhibition game, but it certainly suggests that there may be something seriously wrong with the young San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic native.
There is every indication that Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti decided to roll the dice by keeping Dominguez on the 40-man roster (instead of optioning him to Triple-A Albuquerque) rather than being forced to keep Seth Rosin on the 25-man roster all season (because of the Rule 5 requirements). As a result, Rosin is now gone for good and Dominguez is now most likely headed to Albuquerque anyways.
Simply put, Jose Dominguez is about to lose Seth Rosin’s job – and that sucks.