Baseball – DeSclafani to Make MLB Debut Wednesday
Former Colts Neck star right-hander and current Miami Marlins prospect Anthony DeSclafani will make his Major League debut Wednesday against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.
The Marlins tabbed DeSclafani to start in place of 21-year-old phenom Jose Fernandez, who has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right pitching elbow that will likely require surgery, according to an announcement Tuesday by team president Michael Hill. DeSclafani will oppose Dodgers veteran left-hander Paul Maholm in his first major league start and his first appearance overall.
The 24-year old was ranked by Baseball America among the organization's top 10 prospects heading into the 2014 season. In 2014, DeSclafani had pitched 43 innings for Double-A Jacksonville to date and posted a 4.19 ERA to go with 38 strikeouts and 10 walks.
DeSclafani graduated from Colts Neck in 2008 and attended the University of Florida, where he pitched three seasons for the Gators, mostly as a reliever. DeSclafani pitched out of the bullpen for the 2011 team that lost to South Carolina in the finals of the College World Series and was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 6th round of the First-Year Player Draft in early June.
DeSclafani made his professional debut in 2012 for Class-A Lansing of the Midwest League and in 28 appearances - which included 21 starts - DeSclafani went 11-3 with a 3.37 ERA in 123 innings. He allowed 145 hits and 25 walks while striking out 92, which caught the eye of the Marlins during the ensuing offseason.
DeSclafani was traded by Toronto to Miami in a blockbuster deal that saw shortstop Jose Reyes, right-hander Josh Johnson, left-hander Mark Buehrle, utility man Emilio Bonifacio and catcher John Buck sent to Toronto in exchange for DeSclafani, fellow right-handed pitching prospect Justin Nicolino, shortstops Adeiny Hechavarria and Yunel Escobar, outfielder Jake Marisnick, right-handed starter Henderson Alvarez and catcher Jeff Mathis. Of the players acquired by the Marlins in that package, Hechavarria, Mathis and Alvarez are on the active major league roster, while Marisnick has reached the major leagues and is currently in Triple-A.
Since being traded to Miami, DeSclafani has made 33 starts over two seasons across two levels of the minor leagues. He posted a 1.67 ERA in eight starts with Jupiter of the Class-A Florida State League, striking out 53 and walking only nine in 54 innings during that stop. As a 23-year-old in Double-A last season, he struck out 62 while walking 14 in 75 innings with a 3.37 ERA in 13 starts.