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May 26, 2017

Phillies prospect prognosis: Valentin undergoes surgery, Dominguez has MRI

Jesmuel Valentin, the final man cut in spring training two months ago, underwent season-ending surgery to repair his leg labrum on Friday morning in Philadelphia.

Valentin hopes to recover in time to be ready to play Winter Ball in preparation for the start of camp in Clearwater, Fla., in 2018. The second base prospect hit .366 with a .422 OBP and a team-best six doubles in 21 games with the Phillies this spring.

Valentin, who has slashed .261/.345/.382 in 443 career minor league games, was hitting .229 in 29 games at Triple-A Lehigh Valley this season. He suffered the injury while diving for a ball hit back up the middle on May 12.

He suffered the same injury just before spring training in the Caribbean Series, the championship round featuring the best teams from Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela Winter League teams.

“I dove for it, and as soon as I got up to throw to first base it came out,” said Valentin, who turned 23 earlier this month. “They said it was a little bit more damaged than the first time, but they said it’s the second time in three months, so there’s nothing else that they can do but get surgery because it keeps happening.”

The son of former major leaguer Jose Valentin, Valentin watched the Phillies take batting practice on Friday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park with his father. He’ll spend a week at home in Puerto Rico before continuing his rehab in Clearwater.

“It was really frustrating, it was one of those moments that, as soon as I heard (it) I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t talk to anybody for like three days,” he said. “But unfortunately those are things that I can’t control. … So I just have to stay positive, have a good rehab, and do the same thing in spring training that I did in this last spring training. Try to get better and learn from this.”

Valentin was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers with the 51st overall pick in the 2012 draft. He was acquired by the Phillies, along with right-hander Victor Arano, in the Aug. 14 trade that sent veteran pitcher Roberto Hernandez to the Dodgers.

Dominguez has MRI

Class A Clearwater right-hander Seranthony Dominguez was arguably pitching better than anyone anywhere in the Phillies organization when he was shut down with shoulder soreness after his most recent start on May 13.

Shoulder injuries can be problematic, but there is some good news: general manager Matt Klentak said an MRI on Dominguez’s shoulder came back clean.

“No major concerns,” Klentak said.

It’s uncertain when Dominguez will ramp up his rehab and begin throwing again. But, at least after his recent MRI, the Phillies’ brass can be optimistic they’ll see him on the mound again sometime this summer.

The 22-year-old Dominguez is 3-0 with a 2.02 ERA in seven games (six starts), with 45 strikeouts and 13 walks in 35 2/3 innings. Dominguez has held Florida State League hitters to a .187 batting average and a .268 OBP.

Some project with his power arm (his fastball hovers in the mid-to-upper 90s and can hit 98-MPH) Dominguez could move fast through the system, ala Edubray Ramos, if they see his future as a potential back-end reliever.

Dominguez was ranked 8th in the latest PhillyVoice Phillies Prospect Power Rankings.

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