Reds rookie Hunter Greene looked superb in rehab start for Louisville Bats

Louisville Bats' Hunter Greene (3) delivers a pitch.
Louisville Bats' Hunter Greene (3) delivers a pitch. / Sam Upshaw Jr./Courier Journal via Imagn

The Cincinnati Reds starting rotation has been severely diminished by trades and injuries. But one of those injured starters began his path back to the big leagues last night in the Derby City.

Hunter Greene, who's been sidelined since August 2nd with a right shoulder strain, made his return to the Louisville Bats on Thursday night at Louisville Slugger Field. It was the first of what's expected to be at least two rehab starts for the Cincinnati Reds rookie.

Greene, who owns a 4-12 record with a 5.26 ERA, had been pitching quite well before the shoulder injury that landed him on the 15-day IL. Prior to the injury, Greene's last four games saw the flamethrower post a 2.70 ERA with 29 punch outs over 23.1 innings of work.

Reds rookie Hunter Greene looked superb in rehab start for Louisville Bats.

Hunter Greene went just innings, but allowed only one hit to the seven batters he faced and struck out four while hitting triple digits on the radar gun. Greene needed only 28 pitches, 18 of which were strikes.

It's highly likely that Greene will return to the bump on Tuesday, September 6th versus the Columbus Clippers. That would put the right-hander in line to return to the major leagues for Cincinnati's game on September 11th versus the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Reds desperately need Greene's arm back in the starting rotation. The team has been reduced to using Luis Cessa as a starter and plucking Chase Anderson from the minor leagues. Justin Dunn left his last start with shoulder stiffness, but the former first-round pick is expected to make his next start. Graham Ashcraft is currently on the IL as well.

Injuries have crippled the Cincinnati Reds rotation this season. In addition to Greene and Ashcraft, fellow rookie starters Nick Lodolo and Connor Overton have seen time on the injured list as well. Dunn missed half the season with a lingering shoulder injury and both T.J. Zeuch abnd Robert Dugger are on the IL as well.

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