As expected, today the Reds activated RHP Anthony DeSclafani from the 60-day disabled list and, with it, came a number of corresponding moves to get him back on both the 25-man roster and the 40-man roster.
The #Reds have returned from a rehab assignment and activated from the 60-day DL RHP Anthony DeSclafani. RHP Jackson Stephens was optioned to the Triple-A @LouisvilleBats and RHP Kevin Shackelford was released. pic.twitter.com/2XcanvcvBB— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) June 5, 2018
It’s disappointing for Jackson Stephens, who becomes the odd man out of the bullpen. He’s pitched decently well as something of the long-man for the Reds this season. He’s gotten 15.0 IP from the middle of the ‘pen, good for a 4.20 ERA (3.85 FIP) with a 97 ERA+. None of that is spectacular by any means, but he seemed to finally find a small little niche with the Reds after not a particular great showing as a starter last season.
Of course, it’s major super disappointing for Kevin Shackelford. All told, Shack Attack amassed 38.2 IP through the last two seasons with the Reds as a 28-29 year old rookie. Through 8 IP this season, Shackelford logged 3.24 FIP, which suggests he might have been a little better than the raw Shackelford state. Still, the 7.88 ERA with a 2.125 (allowing 14.6 H/9) are pretty unsightly numbers. He throws hard and there’s potential there, but it wouldn’t at all be surprising to see Shackelford back in the minors with the Reds on that type of deal.
When DeSclafani throws his first pitch tonight at some point on or after 7:10 PM EDT, it will be his first from a Major League mound since September 28th, 2016. In fact, in that season two years ago, he didn’t make his ML debut until about this time of the summer. The heartening thing in all this is, back then, he managed a pretty damn decent half-season for the Reds, pitching 123.1 innings of 3.28 ERA ball.
Of course, that was before missing all of 2017 with a sprained UCL that, while not requiring the dreaded surgery, still sidelined him for basically the entire season, save for a few misadventures at rehab starts.
So, getting Disco back on the mound and healthy is quite the achievement all on it’s own. It’s a pretty damn interesting development for a team that desperately needs interesting developments, too. It’s just hard to know what to expect tonight.