Anthony DeSclafani retired 8 of the final 9 batters he faced on Friday night against the Texas Rangers, and allowed only 1 hit and 1 walk in his 3.0 IP. That improvement apparently wasn’t the only thing the Cincinnati Reds starter took away from his outing, however. Turns out, it appears he suffered an oblique injury at some point along the way, as an MRI confirmed after he wrapped his outing. The Athletic’s C. Trent Rosecrans relayed the news to us on Sunday afternoon, and Disco’s timetable is once again up in the air.
Anthony DeSclafani has an oblique injury. No timetable yet #reds— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) March 11, 2018
I think it’s safe to say this will do enough to ensure that Disco will once again not be the Opening Day starter for the Reds, the third such year in which he’ll be a legitimate contender on-paper who’ll miss out due to injury. Last year, of course, it was an elbow strain that sidelined him, keeping him out of action for the entire season. However, back in 2016 he dealt with an oblique injury, too, one that kept him from making his season debut until June 10th and limited him to just 20 starts (and 123.1 IP) on the season.
I’d say this is a crushing blow, but at this point it’s almost something you had to factor in. The Reds have remained steadfast in sticking to their young pitching options despite their injuries and lack of success, and while that’s bitten them in previous years, there’s also finally a bit of experience on those still young arms. Obviously, the Reds were counting on Disco to be the guy who has twice posted 3 WAR seasons again this year, but at least there’s now some bit of depth to help fill in for him.
It’s also worth noting that this injury managed to crop up just a day after starter Lance Lynn came off the market, meaning there’s one fewer free agent option out there for the Reds should they even feel tempted to add from outside their current roster.
This sucks, though, regardless. Here’s to hoping Disco’s oblique is less injured than it was two years ago, though I’m not at all optimistic that’s the case at the moment.