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DeSclafani eager to return to action

Right-hander missed last season with sprained UCL; Reed fighting for bullpen spot; Davis behind schedule
MLB.com @m_sheldon

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani spent more time in Arizona last year than any of his teammates, but it was for all of the wrong reasons. After missing all of 2017 with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, DeSclafani couldn't wait to get to the player development complex for Spring Training.

Reds camp formally began Tuesday with the reporting of pitchers and catchers. The first workout is scheduled for Wednesday.

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani spent more time in Arizona last year than any of his teammates, but it was for all of the wrong reasons. After missing all of 2017 with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, DeSclafani couldn't wait to get to the player development complex for Spring Training.

Reds camp formally began Tuesday with the reporting of pitchers and catchers. The first workout is scheduled for Wednesday.

"Being here without all these guys, your teammates, kind of [stunk]," DeSclafani said. "There is no question I am excited to be in this environment again. I look forward to going through the long dog days of baseball. When you're in it, you don't really realize how fortunate you are to be able to be in the big leagues and go through the long season. It's something, when you have time off, you enjoy that kind of stuff. I look forward to being around everybody, for sure."

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DeSclafani was injured early in camp last year. He was nearing his return from the disabled list when he came down with elbow tendinitis Aug. 3 while in his final rehab start for Triple-A Louisville. The 27-year-old made five starts after the season in the instructional league, which concluded with a strong seven-inning, 90-pitch start.

DeSclafani's offseason throwing and workout program has been normal, and he is ready to go for camp.

"Everything has been good. My throwing progression went well," DeSclafani said. "I got out here early and feel like I've been able to get into a pretty good routine. Hopefully it will help me transition into Spring Training. I kind of got the tired legs out of the way. The first week of camp, you have to get used to being outside and all the drills. I've been out here doing that. Hopefully, there is no adjustment period. I can work on getting better and focus on games."

Video: Outlook: DeSclafani could continue to thrive for Reds

DeSclafani has endured injuries in the past two Spring Trainings after he pitched 184 2/3 innings over 31 starts in 2015. He was limited to 20 starts because of a left oblique strain suffered near the end of camp in '16.

Camp injuries are not on DeSclafani's mind as he prepares to return to the rotation.

"I prepped as well as I could this year," he said. "I tried to make adjustments like getting out here earlier. Hopefully the little things I've done make the difference where I've put my body in a better state to get ready for this workload."

Reed to battle for bullpen: Reds manager Bryan Price handicapped candidates for the rotation's open fifth spot, but left-hander Cody Reed's name was not on the list.

"I talked to Cody already. I think Cody is competing more for a spot in the bullpen on Opening Day than he's competing for a spot in the rotation," Price said. "But that does not reflect our organizational opinion that he's a relief pitcher now. We still feel like he can be a Major League starting pitcher. But in this particular environment, he's competing more as a relief pitcher."

Video: PIT@CIN: Reed earns his first big league save

Reed is 1-8 with a 6.75 ERA in 22 career games for the Reds, including 11 starts, over the last two seasons. He spent most of 2017 starting for Louisville, and often struggled with command.

Tuesday's activity: There was no formal workout for pitchers and catchers, as they underwent their physicals. Several took the field to throw or worked out in the gym.

Davis update: Price believed that all but one of the 34 pitchers in camp are healthy and ready to go. Only Rookie Davis, who had right hip surgery to repair the labrum and remove a bone spur in October, is considered behind schedule.

Davis began a throwing program last month and has been in Goodyear for several weeks.

Video: NYY@CIN: Davis K's Gardner to strike out the side

"I think it was a good idea to get out here early and training and have the strength guys with him," Price said.

Early arrivals: Position players aren't scheduled to report to camp until Sunday, but several arrived early. Among them were Scooter Gennett, Billy Hamilton, Jose Peraza and non-roster invitee Phil Gosselin.

Up next: Following a 9:30 a.m. MT meeting, Reds pitchers and catchers are slated to have their first workout. Among those throwing in the bullpen will be Sal Romano, Robert Stephenson, Tyler Mahle and Reed.

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, Rookie Davis, Anthony DeSclafani, Cody Reed