"The biggest part of your first year is getting through the whole season," manager John Tamargo said.
From his days as a relief pitcher for the University of Florida Gators, he has matured as well as one could to the role of a starting pitcher.
"He is taking the transition well and he is doing well," Tamargo said. "He has done an outstanding job. It's all about preparing your body, putting a focus on the offseason and in-season workouts, and taking care of your body. Their arm is their livelihood."
Up to this point, DeSclafani has had an impressionable first half of baseball for the Lugnuts. He has appeared 12 games and has posted a 5-1 record with a 2.63 ERA, 47 strikeouts and only twelve walks.
"I think I am doing pretty well," DeSclafani said. "I am really getting a feel for all four of my pitches, and I am working on throwing all of them for strikes."
He has a fastball, slider, curveball, and a changeup. Those four pitches in DeSclafani's arsenal and the development of them are a large reason he has made such a nice conversion to a starting role for the Blue Jays organization.
After the transition, Horsman and himself continue to work on improving the offspeed pitches to reach their full potential.
"His change up had been a big part of developing his total package of pitches," Horsman said. "It's still a work in progress, but I'm happy with the way it's coming along. He just needs the innings to get more experience."
DeSclafani is also satisfied with the progression he has made with his pitches thus far into the season and is assured to only get better with time.
"Definitely, my changeup has improved. I have got more focused on my slider," DeSclafani said. "My pitch selection is important and learning where the pitches are going to, whether it's going inside or outside on a batter or if I would like to bury a breaking ball."
Before his path to mastering all four of his pitches began, DeSclafani spent time getting the grip of his pitches down first.
"In Spring Training with my changeup, I didn't really have a good feel for it. I've worked with Vince Horsman who has done a great job with me," DeSclafani said. "I have been working on a couple of different grips and I feel I have found a few comfortable grips, where I can throw those pitches for strikes. I feel I am getting a much better feel for my slider, as I keep throwing it more and more."
Another aspect that has been stressed to not only DeSclafani, but to the team as a whole, would be the establishment of a routine. This is something pitching coach Vince Horsman stresses to all of his pitchers and works on them with religiously.
"His routine is coming along fine and the way he prepares himself in between games is very good," Horsman said. "He is really figuring things out about what he needs to do on a professional level."
DeSclafani is now in the stages of practicing his routine, and he is confident in what he is doing.
"It's going well, it's going really well," DeSclafani said. "I will start and then two days after the start I'll be on the side, throwing and a long-toss session in between, depending on how my arm feels. Then, just a couple power drills and working on mechanics and maintaining good form."
Although DeSclafani is mowing down batters throughout the Mid West League, everyone goes through challenges during a lengthy baseball season.
"If I were to get in trouble, it would be just not being able to finish off a batter when I have two strikes," DeSclafani said. "There are days where I leave balls up a little bit, where it's easier for the batter to square up. Even if there is just an inning here or there, I must make that adjustment quick enough."
DeSclafani has shown great maturity in doing what he can for this Toronto Blue Jays organization. Lugnuts' catcher, Carlos Pérez has spent the season with DeSclafani behind the plate, making an excellent pair.
"He is a young guy, it's his first season, but he is working hard on everything," Pérez said. "He's a good pitcher and he will be even better in the second half, I think he may be able to pitch a little bit longer."
With the first half of the season winding down for the Lugnuts, it is in DeSclafani's mind to continue with his progression, his success, and in helping his team win throughout the rest of the season.
"I'm hoping to move up to five games after the all-star break," DeSclafani said. "I am really excited. I feel that everything is starting to come along with all of my pitches, going from outing to outing and being successful."
Desclafani Making Seamless Transition
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