Reds pitcher Hunter Greene sheds babyface, has new look for 2024

Hunter Greene ditched the razor over the winter.

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Hunter Greene
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Hunter Greene / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

One could argue that with Joey Votto no longer part of the Cincinnati Reds, the club is looking for someone to step up to be the new face of the franchise. Hunter Greene seems like the perfect candidate to take on that role in 2024.

After all, Greene was the Reds first-round pick in 2017 and will be looking to become the ace of the pitching staff in 2024. The right-hander is always active in the community and is locked up for the foreseeable future after having agreed to a six-year, $53 million contract extension last August.

However, if Greene is going to take up that mantle, he'll look a little different than fans remember. Greene has done away with the clean-shaven look and has embraced a beard this spring. The 24-year-old returned to Goodyear this month with a bit more scruff on his face that fans have seen the past.

Reds pitcher Hunter Greene sheds babyface, has new look for 2024

Fellow third-year starter, Graham Ascraft, has modeled a beard since arriving on the Reds roster back in 2021. The third member of that trio, Nick Lodolo, has yet to debut any facial hair since being part of the Cincinnati roster.

Along with a different look, Reds fans are hoping to see Greene's stat line looks a bit dissimilar from last season as well. During his second major league season, Greene struggled to stay on the field, and made two separate trips to the injured list. In all, Greene was able to start 22 games and logged just over 110 innings pitched while posting a 4.82 ERA.

If the Reds are going to reach their lofty goals in 2024, Greene, along with Ashcraft and Lodolo, will be a big part of that. All three pitchers spent considerable time on the IL a year ago, with Lodolo starting only seven games in 2023.

Reds starting rotation to be led by Hunter Greene, Graham Ashcraft, Nick Lodolo, and new additions

Greene, Ashcraft, and Lodolo will have some veteran leadership along for the ride in 2024. Frankie Montas and Nick Martinez were two of the Reds' biggest offseason acquisitions. Montas will be part of the rotation, while Martinez is likely to occupy a swing role; seeing time as both a starter and reliever.

Andrew Abbott, Brandon Williamson, and Connor Phillips will be among the other pitchers competing for a spot in the rotation during spring training. Lyon Richardson and Carson Spiers will get some opportunities to prove their value to the team as well.

Whether or not the new look brings Hunter Greene good fortune in 2024 remains to be seen. But baseball players are superstitious. If Greene pitches a shutout in his first start, it's quite likely the beard will stay. But if the right-hander gives up five runs on eight hits the first time he steps onto the mound, look for Greene to pull out a razor once he returns to the clubhouse.