Tony Santillan and the Reds looking to close the gap in the NL Central with a visit from the hapless Nats

Cincinnati Reds Tyler Stephenson and Tony Santillan celebrate.
Cincinnati Reds Tyler Stephenson and Tony Santillan celebrate. / Nick Cammett/GettyImages
2 of 4

Mike Minor will make his Reds debut on Friday night.

Reds starting pitcher Graham Ashcraft vs. Nationals starting pitcher Joan Adon

Reds rookie Graham Ashcraft (1-0 1.69 ERA), fresh off his first major league victory, squares off against fellow rookie Joan Adon (1-6 6.08 ERA) for the Nationals. He may not be missing many bats, but Ashcraft has found a way to retire hitters at the highest level.

Even though he's whiffed only four batters in 10.2 innings, the 24-year-old right-hander has allowed limited traffic on the . Yielding just eight hits and four walks, Ashcraft has avoided beating himself. However, facing a lineup featuring Josh Bell, Nelson Cruz, and Juan Soto will be challenging for the Alabama native making his third career start.

The numbers aren't pretty, but Joan Adon is coming off an excellent outing. Tossing six frames versus the Colorado Rockies, the right-hander did not allow an earned run. Patience will be a virtue for Reds' hitters this evening. Adon has issued 29 free passes in 47 innings and has walked four or more batters in four of his 10 starts.

Reds starting pitcher Mike Minor vs. Nationals starting pitcher Josiah Gray

Emotions will be running high Friday night as Mike Minor (0-0 0.00 ERA) makes his season and Reds debut opposing former Cincinnati farmhand Josiah Gray (5-4 5.08 ERA) of Washington. It hasn't gone smoothly, but Minor is finally ready to toe the rubber for the Cincinnati Reds.

After being acquired for Amir Garrett during spring training, Minor, a former All-Star, almost immediately suffered discomfort in his left shoulder landing him on the shelf for the first two months of the season.

The former seventh overall pick of the 2009 MLB Draft is looking to rebound from a tough 2021 campaign, which saw him go 8-12 with a 5.05 ERA for the Kansas City Royals.

I'm sure Josiah Gray has dreamed of taking the mound at Great American Ball Park, but his path to the Queen City has been a circuitous route. Involved in the blockbuster trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers that saw Kyle Farmer, Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, and Alex Wood head to Cincinnati, Gray was not done being the key piece in franchise-altering deals.

The second-round pick of the Reds in the 2018 MLB Draft, was sent to DC last July in the deal that brought future Hall of Famer Max Scherzer to the Dodgers. It's safe to assume the 24-year-old right-hander wants to show the Reds exactly what they gave up in December of 2018.