The Cincinnati Reds surprised their fanbase when it was announced that Hunter Greene was headed to the15-day IL with a hip injury. Greene had been battling through hip stiffness and pain for his last few starts, but you couldn't tell based on his performance.
To see Greene head to the injured list will likely result in the right-hander missing at least two starts. This is a crushing blow to a Reds rotation already struggling with injuries.
But, on the bright side, Graham Ashcraft is eligible to be activated from the injured list this weekend. It seems as though Ashcraft will inevitably be the one to take Greene's spot in the rotation.
Graham Ashcraft is likely to replace Hunter Greene in the Reds rotation.
As good as Hunter Greene had been over his last few starts, Graham Ashcraft was equally as bad. Hopefully his stint on the IL has allowed last year's rookie to refocus and get back to being the pitcher Reds fans saw in 2022.
Ashcraft flashed potential last season and even early this season. The 25-year-old has shown many times that he can be an asset for this Reds ball club, but after posting a 6.78 ERA, he's going to have to work hard to win back the favor of the Cincinnati fanbase.
The absence of a third offering has been troublesome, and is likely the biggest reason for Ashcraft's struggles so far this season. If he is able to add a third pitch, most likely his sinker, Ashcraft could reclaim his spot as one of the up-and-coming stars in the organization.
Ashcraft will likely be slated to pitch against either the Atlanta Braves or the Baltimore Orioles; perhaps even seeing both ball clubs if the schedule lines up. These two postseason contenders will provide a great challenge for Ashcraft.
Take a deep breath and be patient with Graham Ashcraft when he returns, Reds fans. The right-hander will be facing tough lineups and is still refining his game. The talent is there, but Ashcraft is far from a finished product.