Graham Ashcraft's return seems imminent after Reds' latest rotation shuffle

It was only a matter of time.

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Graham Ashcraft
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Graham Ashcraft / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

When Cincinnati Reds pitching coach Derek Johnson mentioned that he expected Graham Ashcraft to return to the rotation soon, most fans didn't expect it to be this soon. But after the Reds reshuffled their upcoming starting rotation, it seems all but guaranteed that Ashcraft will rejoin the big league club on Wednesday.

According to Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Reds have pushed back the upcoming starts of Andrew Abbott, Frankie Montas, and Carson Spiers by one day. Hunter Greene will go up against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night and then head back to the hill on Sunday in St. Louis.

But Wednesday's starter for the series finale against the Pirates is now TBD (to be determined). With Ashcraft having tossed a gem last week for the Louisville Bats on June 20th, the right-hander's next start at Triple-A would align with Wednesday's now-vacant spot in the rotation.

Graham Ashcraft's return seems imminent after Reds' latest rotation shuffle

Connor Phillips is taking the ball on Tuesday night for the Bats, and the last time through the rotation, he was followed by Ashcraft. Having been sent down to Triple-A on June 6th, Ashcraft has surpassed the 15-day minimum stay required after being optioned to the minor leagues.

Since being optioned earlier this month, Ashcraft has made two starts for the Bats and allowed four runs on 10 hits in 12 innings pitched. The right-hander put up quite the stat line during his previous outing in which Ashcraft went six strong and allowed just one run while striking out eight batters.

Of course, once Ashcraft is recalled, the Reds will have to make a corresponding move. Don't be shocked if Yosver Zulueta's stay in the big leagues is a short one. Zulueta was called up to make his big league debut after Nick Lodolo landed on the IL with a blister on his left hand.

Lodolo's absence will mean that Ashcraft will soon return to the Reds' rotation, but also Spiers' audition will last a little longer. The rookie has been yo-yo'd back in forth between the major and minor leagues this season, but while Lodolo is on the mend, Spiers' spot in the rotation is secure.

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