Anthony DeSclafani threw three simulated innings Wednesday to Jay Bruce, Billy Hamilton and Tyler Holt and remains on schedule to make his first start Sunday against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ball Park.
DeSclafani suffered a strained oblique muscle in spring training and began the season on the 15-day disabled list. He threw 15 pitches in each of the three innings he worked at 3:30 p.m., hours before the second game of the season against the Philadelphia Phillies.
“I felt good,” the pitcher said. “I felt the ball was coming out good. I talked to Bruce, Hamilton and Holt. They said the action on the pitches was good. I was throwing pretty much 100 percent.”
Manager Bryan Price did not commit to starting DeSclafani on Sunday. He wants to see how DeSclafani feels Thursday and after his bullpen session Friday.
“I thought he threw the ball really well,” Price said. “I was pleased to see how the ball came out. The delivery, he didn’t compromise anything. He was sharp with his breaking stuff.”
DeSclafani, 25, was 9-13 with a 4.05 ERA in 31 starts in 2015, his first full season in the big leagues. He had the best season of the five rookies who pitched for the Reds in August and September.
“I can’t wait for that day to come on Sunday,” DeSclafani said. “I don’t like being on the DL. I like helping my team. I like contributing. That’s something I take pride in — to be able to take the ball and try to win a ballgame and be a part of the team.”
Platoon situation: Price put Scott Schebler in the starting lineup for the first time Wednesday.
Adam Duvall started in left on Monday in a 6-2 victory over the Phillies. Schebler took his spot. Price plans to platoon the two, but it won’t be strictly on a lefty-righty basis. Duvall bats right-handed. Schebler bats left-handed.
“I look at the matchups,” Price said. “There’s the obvious right-left differential if a pitcher gets lefties or righties out at a higher rate. The other thing is I don’t want either of them to spend too much time away from getting regular at-bats in the starting lineup. There are days I can play both. If I need to give Jay (Bruce) a day off, I can put Duvall in right field. If I need to give Billy (Hamilton) a day off, I can put Schebler in center field.”
Lineup change: Second baseman Brandon Phillips was scratched from the lineup Wednesday 40 minutes before the first pitch because of a stomach virus. Ivan DeJesus Jr. took his place.
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