DeSclafani Looks Forward To Smooth Sailing In Miami





FORT LAUDERDALE—Righthander Anthony DeSclafani was home in New Jersey waiting for dinner when the phone rang. The call provided his family an unexpected topic to discuss during their meal.

When he saw the Toronto area code on his caller ID, DeSclafani figured it might be one of the organization's higher-ups. He was right. It was assistant general manager Tony LaCava informing him he was part of a 12-player blockbuster trade with the Marlins.

"I was kind of taken aback," said DeSclafani, a 2011 sixth-round pick from Florida who had just completed his first professional season. "I got to learn the other side of baseball pretty quick.

"It's definitely weird how I'm going through different things I never thought of when I was playing baseball in Little League."

DeSclafani hopes the trade translates into playing in the big leagues a little sooner, though he's farthest away of the six players the Marlins received in the deal that shipped Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson and Jose Reyes to Toronto.

A hard-throwing reliever in college, DeSclafani appeared in 28 games for low Class A Lansing last season, making 21 starts and piggybacking with another pitcher seven other times. He went 11-3, 3.37 with 25 walks and 92 strikeouts in 123 innings.

Asked what role he preferred, DeSclafani said: "I just like being out on the mound. It was great in college to come in and close a game. You have that adrenaline and that's always fun, but so is starting."

DeSclafani complements a two-seam fastball with a changeup, slider and curve. Despite never having thrown a slider before last season, he had favorable results with it, so much so that he put the curve in his back pocket at one point during the season. When he incorporated it again it proved a useful weapon.

"I wouldn't say it's a major league curveball just yet, but it's slow enough to get the hitters off balance," DeSclafani said. "To come back with a harder breaking ball, whether it's a slider or cutter, definitely will help."

FISH BITES

• Manager Jorge Hernandez received a promotion from the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League to low Class A Greensboro this season, where he'll be joined by pitching coach Blake McGinley and hitting coach Frank Moore, each in their second seasons.

• Righthander Jose Ceda, who did not pitch in 2012 after having Tommy John surgery, was throwing without restrictions and will vie for a bullpen job this season.