Tuesday night brings Reds fans something they haven’t seen in awhile: an Anthony DeSclafani start. It has been so long since he was on the bump that three-fifths of the Reds current rotation wasn’t in the majors.
“Disco” actually left fans excited for the future after a 2016 season that saw him finish with a 3.28 ERA and nine wins in 20 starts. Now 725 days after he begun that season, DeSclafani faces down a familiar label: injury-prone. The good news: in his last two rehab starts he has thrown 93 and 95 pitches, respectively, without issue.
In case you’ve forgotten (and who can blame you) here’s a little primer for the return of Disco.
After a couple of major league starts with the Marlins in 2014 and, subsequently, an offseason trade that sent the polarizing Mat Latos to Miami, DeSclafani made 31 starts in 2015. He quickly positioned himself as a rotation-stalwart with a hair over 184 innings pitched and a 4.05 ERA.
Spring training of 2016 saw progress get put on hold for an oblique injury that sidelined the would-be Opening Day starter until June. Disco bounced back and reminded people why they were excited by earning two wins in his first four starts while only allowing four earned runs and striking out 15.
Then elbow problems ensued and Disco disappeared for a season-and-a-half.
One thing Disco has made a habit of, in his short career, is a good start. Each of his three professional seasons has begun with quality start. His major league debut was a six-inning outing where Disco held the Dodgers to one run on seven hits with seven strikeouts.
He followed that up with his Reds debut, in 2015, in which he tossed another six inning game against the Pirates. In a no-decision, DeSclafani allowed a pair of runs on five hits while fanning six Bucco batters.
His foray into the 2016 season saw a struggle of a quality start, but a quality start nonetheless. He pitched six innings allowing just one run, but it wasn’t without stress. DeSclafani was able to scatter eight hits and three walks, with the only run coming on a Stephen Vogt home run.
So his return to the mound in 2018 calls for some intrigue on the part of Reds fans.
Worth noting: Tuesday marks a change in the rotation, as well. The new five-man rotation goes like this – Anthony DeSclafani, Sal Romano, Tyler Mahle, Matt Harvey, and Luis Castillo. The only one who may be feeling heat on his seat is Harvey, but it’s not that hot, yet.
Could he? Would he? May he? Things looking slightly up for the Reds prospects of getting Dallas Keuchel.
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