Cincinnati Reds Anthony DeSclafani has another failed spring training

(Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /

After three decent starts, Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani finds himself out to start the season.

The Cincinnati Reds came into spring training with their big three starters of Anthony DeScalafani, Brandon Finnegan, and Homer Bailey reportedly healthy.  Only Bailey has made every scheduled appearance.  Now DeSclafani appears out for the start of the season.

In the second half of 2016, DeSclafani was the best starting pitcher on the Reds.  He started 20 games going 123 1/3 innings.  With a 9-5 record and an ERA of 3.28 things looked promising for the former Miami Marlin.

In 2017 DeSclafani didn’t make an MLB start.  He made three minor league rehab starts totaling 6 1/3 innings.  Much like this year, he came into spring training healthy last year.

This year DeSclafani started three games, going seven innings.  He had an ERA of 3.86 and a WHIP of 1.43.  He went 1-1 while striking out 4.

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Now DeSclafani is dealing with a strained oblique.  That is the same injury that cost him the first half of the 2016 campaign.  It’s timing and set-up are nearly identical to 2016’s situation.

Usually strained obliques take six weeks to heal.  Of course, that is not DeSclafani’s experience.  With his track record, the Reds shouldn’t expect him back until July.

The Cincinnati Reds need to make a decision regarding Anthony DeSclafani.

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It’s time to raise that question.  Should DeSclafani be a reliever?  No one wants to think about that, but he has only had one healthy MLB season.

In his major league DeSclafani has gone 20-20 with a 3.99 ERA.  He has pitched 341 innings in 64 games.  That works out to a 5 1/3 inning average.

Despite those strong numbers, a bullpen role appears to be better for DeSclafani going forward.  He cannot stay on the Reds and continue to hurt himself.  The Reds need him to be productive.

DeSclafani only has a handful of professional relief appearances.  Most of his relief appearances came his first year in pro ball.

Since then he has been nearly exclusively a starter.

That is where the Reds want him, but they cannot afford to have him missing more time.  As he goes through arbitration and free agency, his price will increase.  The Reds can only afford to pay healthy players.

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In that way this is the same story for the Reds, however.  With Homer Bailey and now DeSclafani the Reds once again have a pair of .500 pitchers with plus stuff.  Unfortunately, that stuff doesn’t mean anything when they are on the DL.