News: Anthony DeSclafani has been diagnosed with a partial sprain (that means tear) of the ulnar collateral ligament. Shut down from pitching for four weeks. Go from there.

This does not necessarily mean he’ll need Tommy John surgery. If all goes well, DeSclafani could return to pitching by mid-May.

Michael Lorenzen had a partial sprain of his UCL last year and returned to pitch. On the other hand, Lorenzen’s sprain was described as “mild” at the time of diagnosis. That word wasn’t used in today’s report.

On the other other hand:

For AD, not the worst news, but not good any time “Tommy John” appears as one of the tags for the post.

37 Responses

  1. hoosierdad1

    The headline almost could read “Breaking Anthony DeSclafini’s Elbow”. Not sure which would be worse! Hoping for the best but expecting the worst. 🙁

  2. Old-school

    Mid-May I think is premature. Shut down for 4 weeks. Then 6-8 weeks of a BABY step graduated throwing program with rehab…Then bullpens off a mound, then live hitters and then 2-3 AAA rehab starts. This is All Star break- but he still could have a productive season and be ready for 2018. Feldman pickup was a nice proactive move. Kudos to Disco for communicating well. Saved himself a Tommy John surgery potentially.

  3. Shchi Cossack

    “Team medical director Dr. Timothy Kremchek said DeSclafani’s MRI was “very similar” to Lorenzen’s last year.”

    Sooooooooooooooooooooo…does that mean Disco joins Iggy and Lorenzen in the bullpen since he lacks the durability to be a starter?

    • Old-school

      Great question- although I think Iggy had recurring shoulder issues so a bit different. Now is the time to revisit the Lorenzen question. They need him in the rotation now and plenty of options the last 1/3 of the season when he hits his innings limits.

  4. Chuck Schick

    This news likely enhances the probability that Garrett,Romano, Stephenson and Winker start off in Lousiville.

    If you bring them all up in May to coincide with Disco’s return you save service time and create a marketing event. The Reds tend to not draw in April, so there’s no reason to waste the marketing opportunity.

    If they operate the bullpen in April with something close to the long term plan, then you just plug in a couple of off the scrap heap band aids until Disco, Garrett, Stephenson and possibly Bailey arrive.

    • jveith1991

      It’s doubtful the Reds would consider bringing up all four prospects together in May as a “marketing event”. The far greater consideration that you mentioned for the team is service time. Much like the Cubs did with Kris Bryant in 2015, the Reds will likely avoid beginning the season with their prospects on the major league roster to gain an extra year of control. Hopefully some will join the team in mid-to-late April. Had the Reds done that with Mike Leake in 2010, it would have delayed his free agency another year (and likely gotten the Reds a greater return in his trade). One more year of team control vs. two or three extra starts at the beginning of this season…

      • Patrick Jeter

        Doing the service time dance all the time will lead to signability issues in the draft in the future. No team always keeps their prospects down for the extra year The odds of a prospect coming up and playing 7 uninterrupted seasons in the bigs, while also being good enough to warrant a spot, is extremely low.

        I think doing the service time dance should only be employed on guys like Bryant… slam dunk all-star caliber players. We have none of those this year, Garrett probably being the closest.

        Half a season of Leake probably would have cost the Reds about $6-7M after his third arbitration, and that buys a B- to C-level prospect nowadays. Which is probably the increase in return Leake would have garnered. IMO.

      • lwblogger2

        Agree, there are a lot of possible repercussions for teams that dance the “Service Time Polka” on a regular basis.

      • MrRed

        I think his underlying point is still valid in this case. Service time should be considered not only for slam dunk prospects but also in years where it is clear that the team is not going to compete for the playoffs. This would be one of those years for the Reds.

        Given that, they should be thinking about the opportunity cost of bringing up a Garrett now to the MLB roster where he might help them win 76 games instead of 73 or perhaps saving enough service time so that he is under control for another year down the road, when (hopefully) the team is more likely to contend. Yes, he would get valuable experience in a season where expectations and the accompanying pressure is lower. But happily(?) the Reds can have it both ways this year. They can keep him down long enough not to accrue an extra year of service time while still giving him opportunities to start several games later this season.

  5. Simon Cowell

    Major League baseball went out of there way to protect Catchers with foolish rules help reduce injuries. Why can’t they do the same with pitchers? If they can’t find a solution for the epidemic of arm injuries time to go to underhand pitching or the requirement of wearing a sleeve of sorts that limits how hard a pitcher can throw and protects the movement of the elbow and shoulder.

    • Bill

      Don’t stop there, we need to start using whiffle ball and bat to prevent injury to batters

      • Simon Cowell

        Seems like the way to go. Got to protect the millionaires right? My comment was sarcasm towards the total hypocrisy of the new catching rules. They already have a DH to protect pitchers but clearly that isn’t enough. Maybe they need to be kept in bubble wrap.

      • Patrick Jeter

        Was the DH created to protect pitchers in the 70s? I thought it was because watching pitchers hit isn’t fun and watching a hitter hit IS fun.

      • MrRed

        That was just a happy byproduct, Patrick. Don’t spoil the narrative.

  6. J

    Everyone seems to be having TJ surgery sooner or later. Might as well get it over with now.

  7. Chuck Schick

    They’re not protecting millionaires as much as they’re protecting assets that cost millions. If a factory burns down you can at least sell the land. If Buster Posey never plays again you have nothing.

    Also, the football concussion lawsuits have opened the Pandora’s Box of ” work place
    safety” in sports. Forbidding people running at full speed from plowing into a stationary player is less of a rule change and more of a
    “Reasonable Precaution”

    • lwblogger2

      And the rule still allows for blocking the plate and running into the catcher. The catcher just isn’t allowed to do so without the ball. The rule, as written is a good rule. As handled, perhaps there’s arguments that it isn’t. As written however, it makes a lot of sense.

  8. Kyle Farmer

    Okay, so I’ve got a couple of questions. Let’s start with when did this injury occur? Was this partial tear there when he first complained of elbow soreness earlier this spring?

    Did he have an MRI when he first complained of elbow pain? If not, why the heck not? If so, why in the world did they let him resume throwing with a partial UCL tear?

    This has been bungled from the moment he entered the training room. I will never understand why the Reds aren’t more proactive when it comes to the health of their pitchers. Is anyone willing to bet that he won’t need Tommy John in July/August at which point the Reds will have wasted two years of his service time?

    What a bummer. I had really hoped the Reds would be able to be in Wild Card contention for most of the season. That will be darn near impossible with no Homer or Disco and I wouldn’t expect to see either of them until the All Star break given their track records.

    • lwblogger2

      It’s hard to say. Yes, it seems the Reds are more reluctant to go to an MRI than some other teams are. That said, you can’t do an MRI every time a pitcher complains of soreness. These guys deal with soreness more often than not. It’s trying to figure out if it’s normal soreness or an injury. That said, when they did the untra-sound of his elbow, they probably should have done an MRI as well. If you’re going to look for an injury, you may as well actually look.

  9. wizeman

    Injuries part of it now with pitching staffs. Let’s say Disco and Bailey back by all star break. This gives us a starting rotation of Finnegan, Feldman, Reed, Stephenson and a question mark until service time clock runs out.
    Not going to win the World Series this year. Means Garrett and Romano shortly.
    Have to find 5th starter until then. Certainly can stretch Lorenzen a bit and a combo of Adelman and Arroyo if arm does not fall off. Not pretty but gets us to May.
    Am sure this has been covered but what is a prediction of when service time is moot.
    Cause then we also have a lead off hitter who can get on base.
    Looking forward to watching the Reds and saying “Holy S??# These guys are young.

  10. IndyRedMan

    Dan Straily is going to like pitching in that huge park in Miami…..just don’t get why they ran him off? I don’t see much difference between him & Feldman except Corey is 6 years older! I guess they might as well throw out the kids to take their lumps but more LAPD style beatings like Cody Reed took in 2016 are not good for a young pitchers psyche! I guess the hope is get thru 5-6 ip with only 3 runs and hope the pen dominates and doesn’t wear down too badly!

    • docmike

      That Dan Straily trade is the best thing the team did all winter. Flipping a guy who was pretty good in 2016 but also a bit lucky, for a guy who is a borderline top 100 prospect? Yes please.

  11. Shchi Cossack

    The Straily trade was not about replacing Straily with Feldman. Your statement that you “…don’t see much difference between him & Feldman…” speaks to the efficay of the trade. Feldman was an inexpensive investment on a 1 year contract, just like Storen. If either of those pitchers produce, the Reds will flip them before the trade deadline for prospects.

    I like Dan Straily and appreciated what he brought to the game and the team, on and off the field, but if Straily was considered a significant piece of the next competitive Reds team, then there would not have been much hope for that competitiveness. The return from the Straily trade netted the Reds two young, hard-throwing pitching pospects who might make significant contributions as starters or relievers as soon as 2018. The Reds are rolling the dice that the future contributions of those prospects with exceed the future contributions they would have received from Straily. I think it is a pretty good bet, but certainly not a sure thing. Trade, especially involving pitchers, are never a sure thing.

    • lwblogger2

      I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss Straily and what he may be capable of. His underlying peripherals suggest that you’re right, he will never be much more than a #5 kind of starter. He may be one of those guys that consistently out performs his peripherals though. The Reds weren’t willing to find out. Considering the return, especially Castillo, I think the Reds were right to move him. The odds of him being one of the few that out-performs his peripherals are fairly long.

      • IndyRedMan

        I bet Straily has a sub 4 era again….which would be better than a #5 in my book! I like the graphic they showed during the playoffs last year…..Kyle Hendricks and Straily had 2 of the slowest fastballs in the league. The average was 93ish so maybe being below hitting speed and knowing you can’t overpower them is better then being a flamethrower that’s slowing down.

        Bottom line….Straily isn’t the difference between winning or losing for the Reds but he would keep me more interested in a late July game when we’re 18 out

    • lwblogger2

      DeSclafani? Yes, he would appear to be. A lot of pitchers these days seem to be however.

      • sandman

        LW, you would think they would come up with a way to strengthen those delicate ligaments in a pitchers elbow (if that’s even possible).

      • lwblogger2

        I’d think they are working on it. It’s also a guess on my part.

      • Shchi Cossack

        Strengthening ligaments and tendons would be Noble Prize type reasearch and accomplishments. Right now the best option is to try and strengthen the surrounding muscle structure which works great for minor stresses, but not for the type of stress a baseball pitcher places on the elbow joint.

      • sandman

        Shchi, My point exactly… I don’t think it’s possible to strengthen the UCL.

      • KetteringRedsFan

        I can see it now……..

        “In order to deal with the exponentially increasing rate of UCl injuries among major league pitchers, it has been determined that, henceforth, -all- pitchers entering organized baseball will have mandatory surgery at the age of 21, replacing the UCL with standardized synthetic materials approved by the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball.”

        Just joking, guys, just joking……..(exiting stage left, pursued by Gaffer)