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'Full offseason' a boon to DeSclafani

Reds starter feeling rested, ready for 2018
MLB.com @m_sheldon

CINCINNATI -- Injuries cost Reds starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani a large chunk of his 2016 season and all of '17. But far from the Major League mound, in instructional league games in Arizona, DeSclafani was able to finish up strong. He feels he will be ready for '18.

On Oct. 7, DeSclafani threw seven innings and around 90 pitches.

CINCINNATI -- Injuries cost Reds starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani a large chunk of his 2016 season and all of '17. But far from the Major League mound, in instructional league games in Arizona, DeSclafani was able to finish up strong. He feels he will be ready for '18.

On Oct. 7, DeSclafani threw seven innings and around 90 pitches.

"I was able to throw all of my pitches with no worries or issues. I thought I ended on a pretty good note," DeSclafani said on Thursday.

DeSclafani suffered an ulnar collateral ligament sprain in his right elbow during Spring Training this past year. Just as he was making his final tuneup in a Minor League rehab assignment, he left an Aug. 3 game with Triple-A Louisville because of right elbow tendinitis and was shut down.

That wrecked any hope of DeSclafani pitching for the Reds in 2017. But the five starts he made in instructional league gave him and the club some needed peace of mind.

"To be able to compete, inning-to-inning, and feel good and all of that stuff, it was definitely nice to go out there and throw and not have to worry about anything," DeSclafani said.

Since that final game, it's been a mostly normal offseason for DeSclafani, and he's been given no restrictions. Away from baseball, he and his girlfriend got engaged in New York. The couple is set to get married in January 2019.

"I pretty much ended [pitching] when the team ended. It allowed me to get a full offseason," DeSclafani said. "I haven't picked up a ball since then. I start throwing in about a week or so. That's a full two months of relaxing, recovering and not putting stress on my arm. It's been nice to have a regular offseason."

After he threw 184 2/3 innings for the Reds during his first full big league season in 2015, DeSclafani strained his left oblique muscle near the end of camp in '16. When he returned in June, he was 9-5 with a 3.28 ERA in 20 starts, spanning 123 1/3 innings.

DeSclafani was one of three returning pitchers who missed time on the disabled list, along with Homer Bailey and Brandon Finnegan. Although DeSclafani's track record from 2015-16 would indicate he is guaranteed a spot in next season's rotation, he isn't assuming anything.

"I tell myself I have to earn a spot every year," said DeSclafani, who is eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter. "Even if I was guaranteed a spot last year, I was going there trying to earn that spot and that right. That's what I'm doing this year. That's how I'll probably be my whole career. I'm always not going to be taking anything for granted."

Adleman headed to South Korea

Right-handed pitcher Tim Adleman, who worked 43 games for the Reds over the past two seasons with 33 starts, signed a one-year contract to pitch for the Samsung Lions in the Korea Baseball Organization. According to the Korea Herald, the contract is worth $1.05 million with a $100,000 signing bonus.

Adleman, 30, was 5-11 with a 5.52 ERA in 30 games (20 starts) in 2017. He led the club with 122 1/3 innings pitched.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Cincinnati Reds, Anthony DeSclafani