Anthony DeSclafani pitched five innings for the Dayton Dragons last night at Fifth Third Field. Wearing #28 in the Dragons’ bright orange jerseys, the Reds starter threw 77 pitches, 50 for strikes. He struck out three and walked one. The Clinton LumberKings (yes, all one word), a Seattle Mariners affiliate, didn’t record a hit until the fourth inning. According to the scoreboard radar gun reports, DeSclafani was throwing his fastball 92-93 mph for most of the night. By the fifth inning, he had fallen into the 90-91 mph range.

According to Tony Fossas, the Reds pitching coordinator who was at the game, the club wanted to see DeSclafani go 80-85 pitches. But they decided not to send him out for a sixth inning of work.

DeSclafani mainly kept to himself in the dugout when the Dragons were hitting. He talked to catcher Mitch Trees and Fossas.

Tyler Stephenson, the Dragons’ regular catcher and the Reds #1 draft pick in 2015, is on the disabled list with a concussion. He was hit in the head by a batted ball during pregame warmup on Tuesday. Reports are that Stephenson hasn’t come close to passing any of the mandatory concussion protocol.

It was a beautiful night in Dayton. If you’ve never attended a game at Fifth Third Field, try to find a ticket and go see one. (They have a well deserved streak of 1,130 consecutive sellouts, the longest in professional sports.) It’s a wonderful family setting with plenty of easy parking and a first-class operation. Their new high def scoreboard is stunning. Lawn seating is available. They also treat folks like me who write for a Reds fan site as members of the press, with full access to the press box and player interviews.

DeSclafani’s demeanor during the game struck me as a professional going through a workout. He’s looking forward to rejoining his teammates.

“I’m not a very patient person, and I don’t like being on the DL or injured,” he said. “I want to get back there and help my team — I can’t wait.”

Neither can Reds fans. We may not have to wait much longer. If the Reds think he’s ready, his return to the major league starting rotation could be as soon as Wednesday’s 12:35 p.m. home game against the San Francisco Giants.

Photo: Cincinnati Enquirer

Photo: Cincinnati Enquirer

Anthony DeSclafani was acquired from the Miami Marlins in exchange for Mat Latos during the 2015 off-season. DeSclafani led the Reds last year with 184.2 innings pitched. His overall ERA was 4.05 and FIP was 3.67. In the second half of the season, DeSclafani showed considerable improvement. His strikeout rate rose from 17% to 22% and his walk rate fell from 9.4% to 4%. His K-BB% of 18% was top-20. DeSclafani’s FIP in the second half was 3.46.

Here are a few past Redleg Nation columns about him: