Ranking the 3 most impactful pitching performances from Reds starters in 2023

Connor Phillips may have had the best pitching performance of the season vs. the Twins
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Connor Phillips
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Connor Phillips / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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When the Cincinnati Reds needed it the most, rookie pitcher Connor Phillips delivered. The right-hander, who just had his contract selected and was officially added to the 40-man roster, made his third start of the season on Monday night against the Minnesota Twins.

But was Phillips' outing the best of the season by a Reds starter? Believe it or not, the Reds have seen 17 different starting pitchers toe the rubber this season. Graham Ashcraft, who was recently placed on the 60-day IL, leads the way with 26 starts.

While there aren't many great performances to choose from, Cincinnati did have some standout starts that have helped put them into playoff contention this season. Let's look at the Top 3 most impactful pitching performances from Reds starters this season.

3. Reds pitcher Andrew Abbott makes his major league debut.

Fans who follow the Reds farm system knew how good Andrew Abbott was. The left-hander had been so dominant at Double-A Chattanooga to begin the 2023 season, the Reds needed to see if what they were witnessing was the real thing or a product of the pre-tacked baseballs in the Southern League.

As it turns out, what everyone was seeing from Abbott was not a mirage, but the real thing. The University of Virginia alum continued to dominate the competition at Triple-A Louisville, and a rash of injuries dictated that Abbott make his major league debut on June 5th against the Milwaukee Brewers.

It didn't take for Reds fans to realize that Andrew Abbott was the real deal. Abbott walked one batter in the first inning, but struck out former MVP Christian Yelich to retire the side. The second inning provided Abbott with a little trouble, as back-to-back walks to start the inning put runners on first and second.

But Andrew Abbott handled his business and struck out two of the next three batters without allowing a run. Abbott finished with six strikeouts and four walks through six innings of work while allowing just one hit in his debut. That one hit didn't come until the top of the fifth inning off the bat of Joey Wiemer.

While Abbott has had better starts since his debut, that first game showed Reds coaches and teammates that they had a talented, young, left-handed starter who could be an anchor in the rotation. Moving forward, it's quite possible that Abbott will eventually be the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day starter.