CINCINNATI -- Reds pitcher Anthony DeSclafani made his second rehab start with Double-A Pensacola on Saturday, tossing five innings while allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits. The right-hander struck out eight and walked one in a 76-pitch outing."The reports were really good," said Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman.
CINCINNATI -- Reds pitcher Anthony DeSclafani made his second rehab start with Double-A Pensacola on Saturday, tossing five innings while allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits. The right-hander struck out eight and walked one in a 76-pitch outing.
"The reports were really good," said Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman. "He is feeling good. Five good innings. I think he has two more [rehab] starts."
DeSclafani has been on the disabled list after straining his left oblique in Spring Training, and the 28-year-old starter hasn't pitched in the Majors since September 2016 after missing the entire '17 season because of a right elbow sprain.
"Tonight was a good night," DeSclafani told the Pensacola News Journal. "I don't think I have pitched that long since the end of 2016 in my last start. It has been a while. I am definitely feeling it now. My body is definitely sore and aching, but it feels good. I am glad to feel that. It has been a long time since I have felt like this."
In his initial start with Pensacola on Monday, DeSclafani threw three perfect innings, followed by two sets of 15 pitches in the bullpen. He is scheduled to throw another bullpen session Monday and is expected to have two more rehab starts.
Riggleman wasn't sure if the next two outings will be split between Pensacola and Triple-A Louisville or both in Pensacola, but said DeSclafani will rejoin the Reds after that if all goes well.
"The way the game is now in Double-A and Triple-A now, a lot of times your best prospects are in Double-A and your more experienced hitters, who can be a real challenge, are in Triple-A," Riggleman said. "Either one or both is fine."
DeSclafani is eligible to be reinstated May 28, and the Reds expect to be cautious with him even though he is near the end of the rehab process. In 2016, DeSclafani was rehabbing a similar oblique injury he suffered in Spring Training and endured a setback in his final rehab start. It delayed his return more than a month.
Who DeSclafani would replace in the Reds' rotation upon his return has yet to be determined. It will predominantly be performance-based, but Riggleman acknowledged a couple other elements could factor into the decision.
"Sometimes it's a matter of who can do it and who can't, as far as getting into the bullpen," Riggleman said. "How durable they are and how quickly they can get loose in the bullpen and that kind of stuff will have something to say about it."
Brian Scott Rippee is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati.