Anthony DeSclafani

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Anthony James DeSclafani

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Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher Anthony DeSclafani made the majors in 2014.

Amateur Career[edit]

He was 5-2 with two saves and a 1.01 ERA as a sophomore at Colts Neck High School in his native New Jersey, striking out 76 in 48 1/3 IP. His senior year, he went 7-1 with two saves, a 1.44 ERA and 81 K to 7 BB in 58 1/3 IP. He hit .390 to boot. He finished as the school leader in wins (25), strikeouts (303) and ERA (1.45). He was selected in the 22nd round of the 2008 amateur draft by the Boston Red Sox after graduating, but decided to go to college.

DeScalafani was 6-3 with a 4.98 ERA as a freshman at the University of Florida then went 3-0 with a 2.12 ERA for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox of the Cape Cod League. He had sophomore struggles (2-3, 7.08) but rebounded as a junior (5-3, 4 Sv, 4.33). He was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 6th round of the 2011 amateur draft. Joel Grampietro was the scout.


DeSclafani began his professional career with the Lansing Lugnuts of the Midwest League in 2012, going 11-3, 3.37, in 28 games to immediately stake a claim among the top pitchers in the Blue Jays' organization. He was 10th in the MWL in ERA and tied for 4th in wins. He walked only 25 in 123 IP. Among Jays farmhands, he tied Scott Richmond for third in wins. His performance did not go unnoticed by the Miami Marlins either, who asked for him as part of the package of players they received in return for Ps Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson, SS Jose Reyes, IF/OF Emilio Bonifacio and C John Buck in a blockbuster trade on November 19th that year. Joining Anthony were major league infielders Yunel Escobar and Adeiny Hechevarria, C Jeff Mathis, P Henderson Alvarez and two other top prospects, OF Jake Marisnick and P Justin Nicolino. By coincidence, he and Alvarez were both born on the same day, April 18, 1990.

The Marlins sent DeSclafani to the Jupiter Hammerheads of the Florida State League to start the 2013 season, but he quickly earned a promotion by going 4-2, 1.67 in 12 starts. He continued his season in AA with the Jacksonville Suns of the Southern League, where he was 5-4, 3.36, for a combined record of 9-6, 2.65. He struck out 115 batters and walked just 23 in 129 innings. He tied Andrew Heaney for third in the Marlins chain in wins. Baseball America rated him as the #18 FSL prospect (between Devon Travis and Mason Williams) and as #5 in the Marlins chain. He was back in Jacksonville to start the 2014 season and went 3-4, 4.18 in his first 8 starts, but was called up to Miami to take the place of Jose Fernandez in the starting rotation when the Marlins' young ace had to undergo Tommy John surgery.

Making his big league debut in a start against the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 14th, the young hurler was impressive, allowing 2 runs in 6 innings in a 13-3 win. He also collected his first major league hit, a single off Brian Wilson in the 6th that drove in a run; he had already collected another RBI earlier in the game, when second baseman Dee Gordon mishandled his bases-loaded grounder in the 2nd, allowing Reed Johnson to score. When Ed Lucas hit a home run two batters later, Anthony scored a run as well. On September 11th, he was ejected from a game against the Milwaukee Brewers for hitting Carlos Gomez with a pitch in the 6th inning; the pitch was judged by umpire D.J. Reyburn to have been intentional, in retaliation for the Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton being hit in the face with a pitch an inning earlier. As both benches had been warned, bench coach Rob Leary was ejected too, as manager Mike Redmond had already been tossed after the first incident. Major League Baseball then tacked on a three-game suspension. He finished the year with a record of 2-2 6.27, making 5 starts in 13 appearances.


On December 11, 2014, DeSclafani was involved in the second major trade of his young career, this time heading to the Cincinnati Reds along with Chad Wallach in return for P Mat Latos. He made the Reds' starting rotation out of spring training in 2015, beating out Tony Cingrani, and was one of the few bright spots for the team over the early going. He won two of his first three starts, putting together a scoreless string of 15 innings in the process.

On June 23, 2018, he hit a grand slam off Brian Duensing of the Chicago Cubs to lead the Reds to an 11-2 win. It was the first grand slam by a Reds hurler since Bob Purkey in 1959 but a week later, fellow pitcher Michael Lorenzen hit one - so after a 59-year gap, there was only one week before the next performance.

On December 16, 2020, he signed a one-year deal with the San Francisco Giants for $6 million. On April 26, 2021, he pitched his second career shutout in defeating the Colorado Rockies, 12-0. He allowed just 3 hits, walked 1 and struck out 9 while needing only 100 pitches to get through the 9 innings in spite of all the K's. He had a very solid season overall, going 13-7, 3.17 in 31 starts for a team that set a franchise record with 107 wins in the regular season. He also led the National League in shutouts with 2. The only sour note came in his only postseason start, in Game 4 of the Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on October 12th, when he gave up 2 runs in 1 2/3 innings and was charged with a 7-2 loss. Following the season, on November 22nd, he re-signed with the Giants for three years and $36 million. In 2022, injuries limited him to just 5 starts, during which he went 0-2, 6.53, and in 2023 he went 4-8, 4.88 in 19 games - 18 starts - missing the 100-inning threshold by just a third of an inning. On January 5, 2024, he was part of a trade that featured three disappointing free agent signings, as in addition to himself, OF Mitch Haniger, coming off an injury-plagued year in the first season of a three-year contract, was sent to the Seattle Mariners in return for P Robbie Ray, who had failed to pitch like an ace for the M's following his being signed after winning the 2021 American League Cy Young Award. He only stayed with the Mariners for less than a month, however, as on January 29th he was included in another deal, this one with the Minnesota Twins, joining P Justin Topa and youngsters Darren Brown and Gabriel Gonzalez in return for IF Jorge Polanco.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • NL Shutouts Leader (2021)


Further Reading[edit]

  • Steve Gilbert: "DeSclafani back to Giants on 3-year deal",, November 22, 2021. [1]
  • Brian McTaggart: "Mariners excited to reunite with Haniger, add DeSclafani: Seattle also acquires Raley from Rays in exchange for Caballero",, January 5, 2024. [2]

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