CLEVELAND -- Reds right-hander Anthony DeSclafani took his first big step toward a return to the Majors on Sunday, as he threw his first rehab start in the Arizona Rookie League.DeSclafani, who has been out all season with a UCL sprain in his right elbow, gave up three runs (two
CLEVELAND -- Reds right-hander Anthony DeSclafani took his first big step toward a return to the Majors on Sunday, as he threw his first rehab start in the Arizona Rookie League.
DeSclafani, who has been out all season with a UCL sprain in his right elbow, gave up three runs (two earned) over 2 1/3 innings with three strikeouts, one walk, and three hits on 47 pitches vs. the Padres' Rookie League affiliate.
Reds pitching coach Mack Jenkins was on hand to watch the outing and relayed a positive report to manager Bryan Price.
"He showed good velocity, a good slider, he threw a couple of changeups," Price said. "Sounds like he came out of it well. I haven't heard how he felt about it today coming back to the ballpark, but I think everything was very positive."
DeSclafani, 27, has been a key cog of the Reds' rotation in his two seasons since they acquired the righty from Miami for Mat Latos. His 3.74 ERA over 51 starts was the lowest among any Cincinnati pitcher with at least 25 starts from 2015-16.
Price said he expects DeSclafani to return in mid-to-late August after several more rehab outings. His presence in the rotation would be a shot of stability to a unit that currently features three rookies, second-year player Tim Adleman, and Homer Bailey, who is coming off elbow surgery.
"Experience and success, that's a nice combination to have," Price said. "Disco's certainly not a veteran pitcher, but he pitches like one, and he works like one. He goes about his business like one. He's a really mature young man. He's been one of if not our most consistent pitcher when he's been on the field the last couple of years."
DeSclafani's next rehab start is scheduled for Saturday with Class A Dayton, and he's expected to throw 45 to 50 pitches again, before ramping up 15 to 20 pitches in each successive outing.
Price said he'd like to see DeSclafani throw 85 to 100 pitches for several starts in the Minors before he rejoins the big league club.
Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland.