DeSclafani sharp in 20-pitch simulated game

Right-hander expected to get more work in next week

DeSclafani sharp in 20-pitch simulated game

NEW YORK -- Time is running out on the 2017 season before he's had a chance to get into a game, but Reds pitcher Anthony DeSclafani is continuing to keep make progress toward returning. DeSclafani threw a 20-pitch simulated game while facing teammates Jesse Winker and Zach Vincej at Citi Field on Friday.

"I threw everything," DeSclafani said. "I threw some pretty good pitches. I was able to get extension on some. I was happy with it overall."

"He looked good," Winker said. "The ball came out of his hand well. I felt like his fastball was solid."

Reds manager Bryan Price was among those who watched the session and also felt it went well.

"Between the bullpen and live batting practice, he threw somewhere in the neighborhood of 60-65 pitches total. He was sharp," Price said. "His arm looked good. The velocity was good. The breaking pitch, the action on the ball, the delivery -- all very positive."

DeSclafani has yet to pitch this season, initially because of an ulnar collateral ligament sprain in his right elbow suffered during Spring Training. On Aug. 3, during what was expected to be his final Minor League rehab assignment start, he came down with right elbow tendinitis and had to be shut down.

If DeSclafani feels good on the heels of Friday's performance, Price expected him to pitch a couple of simulated innings next week at St. Louis.

"If he gets through that OK, we'll see where he goes from there," Price said. "It could be a simulated game. It could be instructional league, any number of things."

With 20 games remaining in Cincinnati's season, could DeSclafani be activated to see action in a Major League game?

"I don't think we'll activate him for a game right away. We might do a test flight," Price said. "I'm not saying one way or the other if he's going to pitch here or not this year. The thing that's important is he's pitching in September, and we're giving him that opportunity to really build that arm strength up and define the health of his elbow."

Winker's solo home run

Winker closer to returning

Friday's BP for DeSclafani also served a purpose for Winker, who is trying to return from a left hip flexor strain that has had him on the 10-day disabled list since Aug. 25.

"I feel good, too. It was nice to get out there and get some swings in," Winker said. "I'm hoping to be back as soon as I can."

Winker also performed some key running and agility tests the last couple of days. On Thursday, he ran the bases without difficulty and is expected to do that again on Saturday.

On Friday, coach Billy Hatcher hit fly balls to Winker with his fungo bat. He had to play balls that were over his head, in front of him and to either side.

"If everything goes well, it's probable he'll be activated by the time we get to St. Louis [on Tuesday]," Price said. 

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. 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.