By the numbers, this Reds rookie has been the best among a terrific trio of starters

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Graham Ashcraft (51) throws a pitch.
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Graham Ashcraft (51) throws a pitch. / Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds had three rookie pitchers as part of the team's Opening Day starting rotation. Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, and Reiver Sanmartin were all part of the quartet that left Arizona ready to become impact arms in the Reds rotation.

Sanmartin got lit up like a Christmas tree, Greene has been terribly susceptible to the long ball, and Lodolo has struggled with injury throughout his rookie season.

But starter Graham Ashcraft, who was not part of the Reds Opening Day roster, has been the best hurler among the group of rookies. And the numbers prove it.

Graham Ashcraft has been the Reds best rookie starter in 2022.

Hunter Greene has a fastball that hits triple digits. Nick Lodolo has a maturity beyond his years and tremendous demeanor on the mound. Both have a chance to be a fantastic 1-2 punch in the Cincinnati Reds rotation for years to come.

But Graham Ashcraft has outpitched both of the former first-rounders this season. Ashcraft is 5-2 in 14 starts with a 3.94 ERA and 4.02 FIP. According to FanGraphs, Ashcraft has an impressive 52.6% ground ball rate and is worth 1.1 fWAR.

Greene, on the other hand, owns a 5.26 ERA and 4.96 FIP. The right-hander is currently on the Injured List with a shoulder strain that is not expected to be serious. The flamethrower has been torched by the home run this season. Greene is allowing a staggering 2.02 HR/9, however he was pitching much better since the All-Star break.

Lodolo allowed several two-out hits to the Chicago Cubs during the first inning of the Field of Dreams Game. Those three earned runs that the Cubbies scored in the opening inning really slowed Lodolo's pace and the left-hander exited after 4.2 innings of work.

Lodolo had been pitching better since returning from the IL. Until Thursday's contest, Lodolo had appeared in six games and tossed 28.1 innings with a 3.81 ERA and 39 strikeouts. Lodolo did improve as Thursday's game went along, but has surrendered eight free passes in his last two games combined.

All three rookie pitchers have had their ups and downs in 2022; which is inevitable. But Graham Ashcraft seems to have risen above the fray and the Alabama native could possibly be, by season's end, the best of the three rookie hurlers.

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