Notebook: Anthony DeSclafani says locating, good counts are top priority

Miami Marlins starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani (28) throws a pitch during the first inning.

Steve Mitchell/Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

MIAMI — When Miami Marlins right-hander Anthony DeSclafani looks back on Tuesday’s home debut, he’ll probably want to take one pitch back.

DeSclafani allowed five runs over 5 1/3 innings in Miami’s 6-5 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies at Marlins Park.

The 24-year-old gave up six hits, while recording two strikeouts and a walk over 89 pitches (57 strikes). He was lifted with one out in the sixth and a runner at second that would come around to score against reliever Brad Hand.

Philadelphia scored two runs in the first, working deep counts against the rookie.

Jimmy Rollins led off with a single and Carlos Ruiz flied out to center. DeSclafani (1-1) walked Chase Utley before Ryan Howard drove in Rollins with a double. Marlon Byrd followed with an RBI groundout to short.

"Locating and getting back into the count," DeSclafani said of what he needed to do more. "A positive count where I can try to make another quality pitch or go for a strikeout."

After needing 32 pitches to get out of the first, DeSclafani threw just 31 over the next three scoreless frames. He retired nine in a row until pitcher A.J. Burnett’s one-out double in the fifth. Rollins gave the Phillies a 4-3 lead with a two-run homer to right.

"I just had to make more quality pitches and get ahead of batters," DeSclafani said. "I felt like I did that a couple innings after. Obviously if I could have a pitch back it would be the one to Rollins. That kind of hurt me and the team gave me a lead and I’ve got to put zeros up after that."

Competitive spirit

DeSclafani was trying to become the second Marlins pitcher to debut with the club and win his first two starts, joining Burnett when he did so in 1999.

In his major-league debut last Wednesday in Los Angeles against the Dodgers, DeSclafani surrendered two runs on seven hits in six innings for the win. He struck out seven and walked one in Jose Fernandez’s place.

"It looked like his command just wasn’t quite as sharp," manager Mike Redmond said. "His tempo was a little slower tonight. It looked like to me he was trying to get a feel for it a little more than he did in his first start. He threw some decent pitches just had a little trouble getting through a tough lineup."


Second baseman Rafael Furcal began baseball activities again Tuesday as he works back from tightness in his right groin.

Furcal, whom the Marlins signed to a one-year deal over the offseason, has not played this season and remains on the 15-day DL.

Marlins vs. Phillies

While on a rehab assignment last month with Double-A Jacksonville for a strained left hamstring, Furcal aggravated his groin and exited the game in the fourth inning, cutting his stint short. He has not played since.

"He’s been running and doing those things and hitting," Redmond said. "He hasn’t started playing games again. He has to go through that whole process again of getting in shape and running around before he starts playing. We’re still a ways out from him probably even playing."


It came as somewhat of surprise when the Marlins announced the signing of veteran infielder Miguel Tejada to a minor-league contract Monday.

Miami may be pursuing other options in case the Furcal experiment continues at its current pace.

Tejada is serving a 105-game suspension for amphetamines after testing positive three different times. According to its terms, the 39-year-old can appear in Double-A games or lower starting May 31. The earliest he’d be eligible to play for the Marlins would be June 10 at Texas.

A six-time All-Star and 2002 American League MVP, Tejada spent 16 years in the majors with six clubs. As a part-time player in 2013, he appeared in 53 games with the Kansas City Royals, where he hit .288 with five doubles, three home runs and 20 RBI.

"We signed him to see how much he’s got left and if he can help us down the road," Redmond said. "We haven’t really talked much about down the road, but he’s going to be up in extended spring training getting himself back into playing shape. When that day comes we’ll see. That’s really it."


Redmond was ejected for the first time this season in the sixth inning for arguing balls and strikes with home-plate umpire Will Little. He was unhappy with the called third strike on Adeiny Hechavarria for the second out with a runner at first and the Marlins trailing 6-3.

The second-year manager kicked at dirt around the plate before walking away and untucking his jersey.

"It was unfortunate," Redmond said. "I tried to be patient, but at the end of the day I couldn’t watch anymore."

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