JUPITER -- Caught up today with Matt Dominguez, who was playing third in Josh Johnson's final tuneup before Friday's season opener. Of course, the Marlins were hoping Dominguez would also be playing third in that game, with Johnson on the mound. But a hitting slump landed Dominguez back in the minors.
The kid is disappointed, but is not giving up.
"I'm 21 years old, so not making the team out of spring training is not the end of my life," he said.
Dominguez got off to a hot start at the plate this spring, but slumped at the end and finished with a .190 average. He said he probably allowed the pressure to get to him.
“I started swinging at bad pitches,” he said. “It was like, ‘Got to get a hit this at bat. I haven’t hit in a while.’ Then that gets into your head. Mechanics get into your head. Right now, I’m just trying to see the ball, hit the ball. There’s no pressure right now.”
He said his fielding might have suffered, too, due to his slump. He was charged with two errors and didn’t quite live up to his glowing reputation defensively.
“Probably, if I was hitting, maybe I would have (fielded better),” he said. “I got out of my head there for a week or so. I didn’t feel like myself. Oh well, nothing I can do about it now.”
Dominguez said he hopes to get his bat going in the minors in order to earn a mid-season call-up.
“I could envision that,” he said. “The defense will be there. I don’t expect to go over there and hit .350, but I know I’ll hit sooner or later. I think I’m a good hitter and just need to get adjusted to big-league pitching.
“I would have liked to make the team. We’ll see how it goes in Triple A. (I’ll try to) play well, hit, make some adjustments, and hopefully I get back up there this season.”