PITTSBURGH -- Right-hander Anthony DeSclafani turned in an impressive performance on Friday night, going five innings in a rehab game with Class A Dayton, but he is still not ready to return to the Reds' rotation.
DeSclafani, who started the season on the disabled list with a strained oblique, threw 77 pitches through five innings of the Dragons' 6-4 loss to Clinton. He was on an 85-pitch limit. He allowed three hits, walked one and struck out three. His fastball routinely hit 93 mph and reached 95 in the first inning, but there was some discomfort reported.
"We had good reports on pitch execution," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "He still has some sensation. He just hasn't been able to get to where he is sensation-free, and we're not going to push him through it. We've come this far. We are really trying to do everything we can to avoid a setback. He was good until the last inning, and then there was an issue."
DeSclafani went 9-13 with a 4.05 ERA and led the Reds in innings pitched last season, with 184 2/3. The Reds need his innings, as their bullpen is last in the Majors with a 6.22 ERA.
"It wasn't an issue where he said, 'I have pain, I can't pitch,' he just said when he was done with it that he started to feel something in there. It wasn't painful, it was just an awareness," Price said. "He didn't re-injure, he just isn't completely done with any sensation. I told him we can't risk blowing this thing out and [him] missing the whole first half of the season. Going forward, it's still a wait and see."
George Von Benko is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.