Anthony DeSclafani says it’s like starting from scratch for the second year in a row. The Reds pitcher had to meet a full roster of new teammates a year ago after being traded from Miami in the offseason.
Back in Goodyear for his second training camp, there are, once again, plenty of new faces trying to earn sports on the Cincinnati pitching staff.
“You do have to learn everybody over again,” DeSclafani said after a workout Monday morning. “I didn’t know a lot of the guys because I didn’t come up with the Reds and there are a lot of young guys coming up that I didn’t meet last year.”
DeSclafani was a big question mark coming out of training camp last season. But he made 31 starts with a 9-13 record and a 4.05 ERA. He admits that was a confidence boost coming into 2016.
“The Reds having faith in me and giving me the ball every fifth day is something that every pitcher wants to have,” he said. “I had my ups and downs last season. I had some stretches where I felt really good and times when I felt really bad, but I was able to work through it and do it up at the big-league level.”
His first season in Cincinnati was a roller-coaster ride. DeSclafani won his first two decisions, then lost his next four, before winning three in a row after that.
“This game is about consistency,” DeSclafani said. “The reason these guys stick up here is they are consistent at what they do. That’s why I want to take the ball every fifth day and give our team a chance to win.”
While Bryan Price isn’t ready to name his opening day starting pitcher, it seems to be a good chance that DeSclafani will get the ball on April 4th against the Phillies. The soon-to-be 26-year-old is excited to be part of the revamped Reds’ lineup.
“It does feel like a rebuilding process, but I don’t think that has to be a bad thing,” he said. “I think we have a lot of talented young players who are hungry and they have something to prove.”
DeSclafani certainly considers himself to be one of those guys who is anxious to show Reds fans he has plenty more left in the tank.