Reds righty Anthony DeSclafani has been cleared to resume throwing, according to John Fay of WCPO.com (via Twitter). DeSclafani has been out all year while resting a sprained ulnar collateral ligament.
While the initial hope was that DeSclafani could begin working back within about a month of the diagnosis, that obviously wasn’t to be. Last we checked in, late in April, doctors had not observed sufficient healing to clear the 27-year-old.
Now, per the report, the medical experts have observed significant improvement in DeSclafani’s UCL. While a precise throwing program is still being worked out, it seems that he’ll begin the march back with hopes of returning to the majors this summer. At this point, clearly, he’ll still need a substantial amount of time to build up arm strength and undertake a rehab assignment.
Cincinnati has struggled to find good innings from its rotation, which desperately misses DeSclafani, among others. Homer Bailey and Brandon Finnegan are also unavailable. (Bailey is a bit further ahead in his own recovery; as Fay adds on Twitter, he’s ready to begin facing live hitters.)
In DeSclafani’s case, the return effort will come at an interesting time. His absence to date has already dented his upcoming trip through arbitration — which will be his first. It has also taken out of consideration as a trade chip, at least temporarily. If DeSclafani can regain the excellent form he showed last year — 3.28 ERA with 7.7 K/9 against 2.2 BB/9 over twenty starts — and stay healthy, he’ll have a case for a solid payday and could be a heavily pursued deadline asset.