'A lot of good things' needed for Disco to return

Price hasn't ruled out DeSclafani (left oblique) starting Friday in St. Louis

'A lot of good things' needed for Disco to return

CINCINNATI -- Pitcher Tim Melville assumed the fifth spot of the rotation and faced the Pirates in Sunday's 2-1 walk-off win in the spot that Anthony DeSclafani was expected to take. As DeSclafani works to return from the left oblique strain that has him on the disabled list, could he be ready the next time his turn comes up in the rotation?

Reds manager Bryan Price didn't rule it out.

"A lot of good things would have to happen," Price said on Sunday. "We really are going to, to the best of our ability, say there's nothing that he does that he has any sensation and feel like he's 100 percent. Maybe he can get there. My guess, my heart is, it's been a while. He hasn't pitched in a game since [March] 24th. He did throw a three-inning simulated game on [Wednesday]. It would be challenging to get there by the 15th, but we haven't put the kibosh on it yet."

DeSclafani is slated to throw a side bullpen session and long toss this Wednesday in Chicago. The longer he is out, the more likely it would seem that the Reds could opt for a Minor League rehab assignment before he is activated.

"It depends on where we get to that point, what's the date where we say he's good to go," Price said. "That will have probably been a fair amount of time between game competition. There is a possibility he could do that before he's activated."

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Sunday marked the Major League debut for 26-year-old Melville, who was signed as a Minor League free agent over the winter. Whether or not DeSclafani is ready, Melville could remain on the pitching staff.

"He's in the rotation until we say otherwise. It doesn't have to be a short-timer," Price said. "He almost pitched himself on to the team for Opening Day. We knew we needed coverage for the 10th, and we anticipated Robert [Stephenson] would be a one-start situation, and if Disco couldn't go and it would be longer, it would be Melville. If he pitches well, then those are other decisions we can make along the way to keep him in the rotation along with Disco. We also liked him potentially as a guy that could pitch out of our bullpen. He could satisfy a few different roles."

More notes from Sunday:

• To make room on the roster for Melville's callup from Triple-A Louisville on Sunday, first baseman Brandon Allen was designated for assignment by the Reds. Allen was called up from Louisville Friday to replace Stephenson on the roster and did not get into either of the last two games. He cleared waivers and was outrighted to Louisville.

• Outfielder Yorman Rodriguez, currently on the DL with a left hamstring injury, is still bothered by the issue and not close to playing.

"That's another one if you push him and he goes out there and does it again, you're looking three weeks or four weeks, maybe more," Price said. "Until he's able to move around without any issue at all, I don't see him being able to start a rehab assignment."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.