August 23, 2012
There is no denying that the Lansing Lugnuts season has been built around a great pitching rotation. But while Blue Jays fans are familiar with such pitching arms such as Justin Nicolino, Aaron Sanchez, and Noah Syndergaard, there has been another solid arm in the Lugnuts rotation in 2012: Anthony DeSclafani.
DeSclafani is a right-handed pitcher from Freehold New Jersey. “Growing up in New Jersey, I was a Yankees fan and Mariano Rivera was my favorite player. Even though he’s a closer I just like the way he carries himself like a silent assassin.” stated DeSclafani, who graduated from Colts Neck High School in 2008 and was drafted by the Red Sox in the 23rd round of the MLB draft. DeSclafani would chose not to sign with the Red Sox and attend the University of Florida.
His choice would pay off as he would later be drafted by the Blue Jays in the 6th round of the 2011 MLB draft, “I was excited and glad to be given the opportunity to play professional baseball. My time at the University of Florida was great; I learned a lot and matured a lot. My coaches taught me a great deal about the game of baseball, and I gained a lot from the experience,” explained DeSclafani.
While he signed with the Blue Jays in 2011, he didn’t start his professional career with the Blue Jays until this season with the Lansing Lugnuts. Early in the season DeScalafani would piggyback starts with Noah Syndergaard, “The piggyback system helped me a lot. They wanted me to throw less innings early in the year, because this is the longest season I’ve ever played the goal was for me to be strong towards the end of the season and I feel great so I’d say it worked,” stated DeSclafani.
Anthony is currently 10-3 with a 2.91 ERA with 76 strikeouts and 19 walks in 24 games this season, “My first year of professional baseball has been going really well. I have learned a lot about myself and getting into the starting routine. I have also been learning the exercises needed to take care of my body and the grind of minor league baseball.
“At the beginning of the year I wasn’t sure how I would feel at this point in the season, but my arm feels great. In addition, our strength coach got us on a great routine.” stated DeSclafani who credits a lot of his early success on his pitch repertoire “I currently have four pitches a fastball, curveball, changeup, and slider. My fastball can range anywhere from 90 to 95 mph.”
DeSclafani has had a great first year of professional baseball, but he’s still focused on a bigger prize. “We have a playoff run the team is focused on finishing the regular season strong by playing well and winning games then we’ll get a couple days off before the playoffs. Once the playoffs start you have to play from the first pitch to the last pitch every game. Winning the Midwest League Championship would be great, we’ve played hard all year and it would be awesome to come out on top.”