Jesse Crain is finally throwing again

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After numerous setbacks that caused him to miss the entire second half of last season and kept him sidelined throughout the offseason Jesse Crain is finally throwing again.

Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports that Crain threw Monday and plans to do so again today and Friday as he prepares for spring training with the Astros.

Crain, who signed a one-year, $3.25 million deal to be Houston’s likely closer, told McTaggart that “nothing was bothering me” with his surgically repaired biceps and he’s “headed in the right direction.” However, he’ll definitely be behind the other pitchers in Astros camp and is no sure thing to be ready for Opening Day.

Anthony DeSclafani crushed a grand slam for his first career home run

Anthony DeSclafani
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Reds right-hander Anthony DeSclafani put on a show during Saturday’s matinee against the Cubs. Up 2-1 in the third inning, the hurler hooked a Brian Duensing fastball over the left field fence for his first career home run — and first career grand slam:

Grand slams are impressive no matter the player or situation, but they’re made all the more special in rare circumstances like this one. Not only is DeSclafani the first pitcher to deliver a grand slam in 2018, but he’s the first Reds hurler to do so in nearly 60 years. Per MLB.com’s Brian Scott Rippee, right-hander Bob Purkey was the last to hit a slam for the Reds in 1959, when he took Cubs reliever John Buzhardt deep in the third inning of a 12-3 drubbing.

The 28-year-old righty had a decent outing on the mound as well, holding the Cubs to two runs, four walks, and three strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings before passing the ball to reliever Michael Lorenzen. Entering Saturday, he carried a 2-1 record in three games, with a 4.60 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 8.6 SO/9 across 15 2/3 innings — not too shabby for someone who hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016.

The Reds currently lead 8-2 in the bottom of the seventh.