After signing a three-year, $36 million pact with San Francisco in the offseason, the SF Giants had high expectations for Anthony DeSclafani. After just five starts, the first year will be a forgettable year for the eight-year veteran.
DeSclafani recently hit the injured list with lingering ankle inflammation and the veteran starter will pursue surgery to alleviate the pain, knocking him out for the remainder of the season.
The Giants originally signed DeSclafani to a one-year, $6 million deal before the start of the 2021 season. Given that he was coming off of an injury-plagued season in 2020 and a five-year run in which he posted a 4.19 ERA with the Cincinnati Reds, the righty was looking to re-establish market value.
This is a move that paid off well for the Giants as he tallied a 3.17 ERA, 3.62 FIP, 1.09 WHIP, 8.2 K/9, and a 3.62 SO/W ratio in 31 starts for San Francisco. It looked like he was a classic case of a pitcher needing a change of scenery away from a hitter-friendly home ballpark like the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
The veteran starter had much more leverage heading into this offseason and the Giants rewarded him with a new, lucrative contract.
DeSclafani struggled through each of his starts in 2022 as it was clear that he was not fully healthy to pitch. In five starts, the veteran hurler posted a 9.95 ERA while allowing 35 hits, including four home runs, in 19 innings.
It is something to consider but I wonder if his offseason regimen might have been different if not for the lockout. Players were not allowed to communicate with the team for over three months and that includes players who were recovering from injury. He sustained the ankle injury late in the 2021 season and did not get to work with the training staff in the offseason.
With his absence, the Giants seemed prepared to employ a couple of bullpen games with Sam Long as the bulk innings reliever on those nights. On a similar note, Jakob Junis is nearing a return, so he should be an option to fill DeSclafani's spot in the rotation.