After midseason hiccup, Reds starter Graham Ashcraft is in All-Star form

Graham Ashcraft is having a great second half of the season.

Cleveland Guardians v Cincinnati Reds
Cleveland Guardians v Cincinnati Reds / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

Graham Ashcraft had a rough start to the season and did not look like a pitcher on the rise from 2022. The right-hander owned a first half ERA of 6.28 with opposing batters owning a slash line of .290/.365/.473. After much improvement, Ashcraft currently possesses a 4.48 ERA with a 5.16 FIP through 134 innings

Graham Ashcraft has had a great second half of the season for the Cincinnati Reds. His overall numbers may be misleading, but he has been brilliant since his start against the Atlanta Braves. On June 24th, Ashcraft gave up six earned runs on 10 hits against the Braves and raised his ERA for the month of June to 10.38. Since midseason hiccup, Ashcraft has turned things around and hasnt looked back.

Graham Ashcraft has a respectable 3.10 ERA in the month of August, which is 4th best among NL starters. In addition, nine of Ashcraft’s last 10 outings have been quality starts. According to Fangraphs, Ashcraft has had a second half ERA of 2.58, and has been the best starter for the Reds down the stretch. He has held opposing hitters to a meager .216 batting average since the All-Star break.

The starting pitcher's second half dominance has been a welcomed arrival to the Reds rotation. Not only has he been keeping the Reds in games, but he has provided a quality of innings. In his last four starts, Ashcraft has pitched 29 innings and pitched at least seven innings in each game. The right-hander has immensely relieved an overworked bullpen that needed rest.

Graham Ashcraft’s pitching performance could not have come at a better time for the Reds. The starting rotation has become thin with an injury to Ben Lively and Luke Weaver being designated for assignment. Furthermore, Nick Lodolo may miss the remainder of the 2023 season with a recent setback during his latest rehab assignment.

The Reds need Graham Ashcraft more than ever and he has provided. They are still in a playoff hunt, and only sit a half game back from a wildcard spot. Graham Ashcraft has been in All-Star form as the Reds look for their first appearance in the playoffs since 2020.