JUPITER -- A year ago, Matt Dominguez was the biggest spring training story going for the Marlins, battling to win the job at third base and an Opening Day roster spot. He didn't succeed. Now, Dominguez is just one of the 60-something players squeezed inside the cramped clubhouse, a largely overlooked figure on a team that -- all of a sudden -- has its share of luminaries.
"A little different feeling from last year to this year," Dominguez acknowledged.
More like, quite a bit different.
When the Marlins signed shortstop Jose Reyes and moved Hanley Ramirez to third, that took care of that as far as Dominguez was concerned. There's no place for him to go except Triple A New Orleans. Not that it is the end of the world for Dominguez, the former first-round pick. He's only 22.
"Everybody knows how good Reyes and Hanley are," Dominguez said. "That's a great left side of the infield."
Dominguez just wishes he was included in it, or even in contention for a job. That's not the case.
"Last year I was competing for a job," he said. "Of course, it's different. Everybody wants to play in the big leagues. I'm not trying to play Triple A my whole career."
Dominguez's future with the Marlins is now one gigantic question mark. Ramirez is signed through 2014, so unless the Marlins trade him, Dominguez's path to the Marlins is blocked for several years to come. He could end up becoming a trade piece himself, but must first prove that he's not just a good glove guy.