DeSclafani pitched in two official spring training games (with his other work coming in simulated games), allowing just one earned run on three hits and a walk over six innings while striking out four. Just making it to the Opening Day bell has been a challenge some years for DeSclafani, but he made it through 2019 unscathed. The Reds are hoping for continued health and progress against left-handed hitters from the 29-year-old.
After overhauling his delivery last season, DeSclafani spent this offseason fine-tuning that more efficient delivery, with a specific emphasis on his curveball, Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports. The curveball is the key to improving DeSclafani's performance against left-handers. Last season, the hurler allowed a .795 OPS to left-handers as opposed to a .638 OPS against right-handers. That's actually a considerable improvement over 2018, when lefties had a .917 OPS against him, and that improvement can largely be chalked up to his curveball.
DeSclafani agreed to a one-year, $5.975 million deal with the Reds, avoiding arbitration, freelance baseball writer Robert Murray reports. This is his third and final year as an arbitration-eligible player before hitting the open market. He gets a sizable raise over the $2.13 million he was awarded last offseason.
DeSclafani allowed four runs (three earned) on eight hits with one walk and five strikeouts across five innings of relief during a no-decision against the Pirates on Friday. Michael Lorenzen started, but DeSclafani entered after two scoreless frames. Although he didn't pitch great, DeSclafani was in line for the win after the Reds took the lead in the eighth, but the Pirates came back in the ninth to force the 29-year-old to settle for a no-decision. He ends the year 9-9 with a 3.89 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 167 strikeouts in 166.2 innings.
DeSclafani allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits with one walk and seven strikeouts across six innings during a no-decision against the Mets on Saturday. The right-hander struggled with tossing up homers early this season, but he's solved that problem lately and been pitching much better. He's allowed only three home runs over his last six outings, which has resulted in a 2.08 ERA during that stretch. Overall, DeSclafani is 9-9 with a 3.84 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 162 strikeouts in 161.2 innings this season. He lines up to make his last start of the year at the Pirates on Friday.
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