The dry-erase board in Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price’s office Tuesday featured a name not yet seen in 2016: Anthony DeSclafani.
The 25-year-old DeSclafani was the best of the young pitchers the Reds paraded to the mound a season ago, but a strained oblique muscle cost him an Opening Day start. Then it cost him the first month of the season. It continued to bother him until recent weeks.
DeSclafani finally will take the mound Friday for a 7 p.m. game against the Oakland Athletics at Great American Ball Park.
“He threw a bullpen today,” said Price before the opener of a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals. “He’s good. Unless there’s some unforeseen circumstance, we have him scheduled to pitch Friday.”
The Reds optioned Jon Moscot to Triple-A Louisville to make room for DeSclafani. Moscot was 0-3 with an 8.02 ERA in five starts. He allowed five earned runs in 3 2/3 innings Sunday in a 10-9 loss to the Washington Nationals.
Outfielder Steve Selsky, who was hitting .284 in Louisville, took Moscot’s spot on the roster for now, though Selsky or someone else will have to go back down when DeSclafani rejoins the rotation.
DeSclafani made two rebab starts in late April but suffered a setback and was shut down for several weeks. He returned to the mound May 25 for Louisville and pitched twice more last week.
With DeSclafani healthy again and Raisel Iglesias nearing a return — though as a reliever, not a starter — the Reds are closer to having the stable of pitchers they expected. Homer Bailey and Michael Lorenzen are both still on the mend.
“There haven’t been any setbacks this second time around,” Price said. “We’re keeping our fingers crossed with Homer, Iglesias and Lorenzen also. We’d love to have them back. I think we’ll have two of the three back in June barring any setbacks and hopefully Homer at some point in time in July.”
DeSclafani was 9-13 with a 4.05 ERA last season.
“We’re moving forward in a good way,” Price said. “We talk so much about rebuilding. To rebuild, you have to bring players who are part of the rebuilding onto our club.”