Reds RHP Graham Ashcraft will begin the 2024 in the big leagues
Graham Ashcraft took a monumental step backwards midway through the 2023 season. But after a stint on the injured list, the right-hander redeemed himself and was arguably the Cincinnati Reds best pitcher down the stretch.
Unfortunately for Ashcraft, a toe injury robbed the second-year hurler of the final month of the season. It's being reported, however, that Ashcraft is expected to enter spring training ready to go. Some may scoff at the idea of Ashcraft even being included in this list. Didn't Ashcraft do enough last season to make this argument moot? If you block out the seven-game stretch from May 7th through June 8th, yes.
But that rough patch that saw Ashcraft's ERA jump from 2.00 to 7.17. The right-hander allowed 49 hits over 29 innings and allowed eight round-trippers during those seven starts. Ashcraft's ERA during those seven games was 12.72 and his FIP was a ghastly 7.01. Opposing batters were hitting .374 off the right-hander.
Thankfully, Ashcraft returned to form in August and September. Ashcraft closed his sophomore season with six starts covering over 40 innings. The Alabama native owned a 3.32 ERA during those final six contests and walked just nine batters while allowing a .222 batting average-against.
If he's fully recovered from the injury that ended his 2023 campaign, Graham Ashcraft will be part of the Cincinnati Reds 2024 Opening Day starting rotation.