2024 Phillies Player Spotlight: Jeff Hoffman, Seranthony Dominquez, Dylan Covey

With the 2024 MLB season bearing down on us. We here at EOP will spotlight a Phillies player every week until the start of the 2024 season. We will highlight their 2023 season, strengths, weaknesses, and 2024 projections. This week we will highlight relief pitchers Jeff Hoffman, Seranthony Dominquez, and Dylan Covey.  

The front and middle ends of the Phillies bullpen were a source of strength for the 2023 Phillies. Contributions from unknown Jeff Hoffman and the contributions from Dylan Covey whose career was at a low point when the Phillies acquired him off the waiver wire were center stage of that strength.   

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2023 Season

What seems always to be a question mark for the Philadelphia Phillies almost every year is the front and middle of the bullpen. Over the past few years, Phillies fans have endured some of the worst bullpens ever in baseball (no exaggeration). The past two seasons, however, have played a bit of a different tune.

In 2023, manager Rob Thomson and the coaching staff adopted more of a matchup-based system where he used his best relievers against the heart of the other team’s lineup, regardless of the inning. Thomson had who he believed were his high-leverage guys and unleashed them when he thought he could take advantage of a matchup instead of the typical specialists.

Jeff Hoffman

A serious surprise out of the bullpen in 2023, Jeff Hoffman showed similar prowess to his old namesake Trevor. In April of this past year, the man who was once a part of the package that sent Troy Tulowitzki to the Toronto Blue Jays was signed to a minor league free-agent deal by the Phillies. He quickly made his way to the majors after some live batting practice versus star hitter Bryce Harper during his rehab stint, which impressed him.

While there were growing pains, the 30-year-old extremely overperformed. His .158 batting average against (BAA) was good enough for third-best in the league last year, only behind two premier relievers in Devin Williams and Josh Hader.

Throughout 52 innings, Hoffman worked his way from being a mop-up, low-leverage guy to at points, being a set-up man for Thomson with injuries to stars like Seranthony Domínguez and José Alvarado. The power-righty posted a 2.41 ERA while only allowing 29 hits and striking out 69. He ended the season with a 0.917 WHIP.

Again, Hoffman is another guy who stepped up and was a key catalyst in making the Phillies’ bullpen one of the best in the league this past season. He’ll be in his last year of arbitration in 2024, looking to continue his excellence from this past year.

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Seranthony DomĂ­nguez

Entering his sixth year, Dominquez had a better season than it may have seemed on a surface level. After allowing six runs in the second game of the year in 2023, Seranthony DomĂ­nguez had a tough battle to climb. In his fifth season in the majors, fans, coaches, and front office personnel were hoping to see that jump from great to elite for the 29-year-old.

DomĂ­nguez’s year came with some ups and downs. He dealt with some injuries along the way, including an oblique issue that affected his performance even after he was reinstated. With all that, the righty posted a 3.78 ERA over 50 innings and tallied 48 strikeouts across his outings. After coming off his year hiatus due to Tommy John surgery, the sinkerballer looked great in 2022 into the postseason and hoped to carry that momentum into 2023.

 His early struggles faced him with a harsh reality, but it wasn’t as bad as it seemed. DomĂ­nguez’s energy and calm demeanor do wonders for this Phillies bullpen, and like so many others have stated before, he has the stuff to be a high-leverage guy. He was one of the more trustworthy arms throughout 162 and will be looking to earn some money as he has an $8 million club option coming up in 2025.

Dylan Covey

Someone who wasn’t a fan favorite, Dylan Covey, still found a way to play a very important role in 2023. The Phillies claimed the 32-year-old off waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers in May, and his welcome to Philly left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. In his first five games with the squad, Covey allowed 10 runs throughout about nine innings, leaving his ERA to skyrocket and fans to call for his head.

However, throughout his next 30 innings, he allowed only six earned runs and finished the season with a 3.69 ERA. Covey even ended the month of September pitching 11 innings and only allowing one run leading into the postseason.

At first, Covey was introduced as a spot starter and long reliever but quickly shifted into a mop-up role after his poor performance to begin his Phillies career.

In that low-leverage role, he excelled, eating up plenty of innings and finishing off games for manager Rob Thomson, which allowed him to keep weapons like Kimbrel, Alvarado, and Hoffman rested for more intense scenarios.

Covey has three more years left of team control until he’s a free agent. It’s tough to say what role the Phillies will have him in 20024, but with a strong latter half of the year, he has earned himself a spot in the running for one of the last bullpen spots.

2024 Projection

With the addition of Spencer Turnbull, the possibility of resurgences from Conor Brogdon, and Andrew Bellatti both of whom dealt with a myriad of injuries, and the additions of Michael Rucker, and Kolby Allard. in 2023 the Phillies’ front, and middle bullpen seem to start the season in pretty good shape. But we all know that to win it all you can never have enough pitching. It will be interesting to watch the performances, and the changes, that the bullpen will go through from March to October.

Matt Bednarczyk
Matt Bednarczyk

Matt Bednarczyk is your host of Talking Philly Sports With Matty B. He is a proud retired US Army Sergeant First Class, he is also a combat veteran with over 80 months served in Afganistan, and Iraq . Huge Hockey Fan. Matt is a lifelong 4 for 4 Philly sports fan. Born and raised on the Mayfair and Tacony neighborhood lines of Northeast Philly. He brings over 40 years of Philadelphia Sports passion and provides a realistic look at our Major Sports Teams and the most passionate sports fans on the planet. Look for his show live on Edge of Philly Sports.