It took a little longer than he wanted, but Anthony DeSclafani is ready for his 2020 debut for the Reds as he's slated to start vs. the Tigers in Sunday's series finale. DeSclafani was activated from the 10-day injured list Friday after he had mild strain of the right teres major muscle.
“I felt it warming up for the last inning of that tune-up in Summer Camp,” DeSclafani said on Saturday. “Kind of felt it get irritated, but I was able to pitch through it, I guess, because the blood was flowing and stuff. That night, once I cooled off and my body was kind of at rest, I started kind of feeling it tighten up a little bit more than normal. And it ended up being a minor strain. No issue now.”
DeSclafani felt like he was prepared and in good form from working out and throwing during the 3 1/2-month shutdown, and he was able to keep throwing while on the IL.
“I threw every day. I had two bullpens and just did my normal throwing program,” DeSclafani said. “[I did] long toss and flat grounds and bullpens and felt good. I was able to air it out and all that stuff, so I have no issue moving forward.”
DeSclafani has opened the season on the IL in three of the last four years. But he was fully healthy in 2019 when he posted a 9-9 record and a 3.89 ERA in 31 starts.
That included a 2.39 ERA over DeSclafani’s final eight starts.
“It’s exciting to get going, get started,” DeSclafani said.
Reserve infielder Matt Davidson was glad to be back with the Reds upon his activation from the IL ahead of Friday’s series opener vs. the Tigers. But it was a tough re-introduction to playing when he faced lefty reliever Gregory Soto as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning of a 7-2 Reds loss.
Soto threw four pitches -- the first three registering at or around 99 mph -- and struck Davidson out with a 100-mph fastball.
“Those 100-mph heaters looked pretty quick last night, but I was glad to get back in there the first day back and just get the timing back and get back into a game rhythm,” Davidson said Saturday morning.
On July 26, Davidson tested positive for COVID-19 and entered MLB’s health and safety protocol. He was unable to do any workouts or baseball activity while quarantined, and watched on television as his team struggled with four straight losses.
“It’s been crazy. Just went through the protocols and stuff and back here,” Davidson said. “It’s a bummer not being on the field and doing all that, but we’re back.”
Following an Opening Day victory over Detroit -- which he started as the designated hitter and went 0-for-2 in -- Davidson reported feeling symptoms when he got home that night. He still didn’t feel well Saturday morning and informed the club.
“I had a rapid test and that showed me as positive,” Davidson said. “Every other test was negative including antibodies, so I didn’t have any antibodies as well.
“We followed protocol and did all that. We obviously want to be safe and make sure we’re not spreading it and stuff. I think I was relieved that I never had it and that’s fine with going through protocol. We have to be safe. I felt great, I guess, not having it. I’ve been staying inside and following all the protocols and I’m not really sure what happened.”
On Sunday, teammates Mike Moustakas and Nick Senzel also reported not feeling well and missed three games. Both players had negative tests for COVID-19.
“It was really tough, because we won the first game and then we lost and then other guys got sick,” Davidson said. “We’re trying to do everything we can and follow protocols. ... I’m glad it wasn’t anything more serious than it was.”