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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2. Reds starter Hunter Greene dominates in return from IL.

Hunter Greene has had an up and down season with the Cincinnati Reds. Heck, he's an up and down career to this point. Drafted with the second overall pick in 2017, Greene made his big league debut last season and flashed the potential of what could be an ace for the Reds moving forward.

The Reds were so enamored by Greene's potential that they signed the flamethrower to a six-year contract extension this season. Greene is set to be a big part of the Reds future and he's barely 24 years old.

But early-season results led some fans to believe that the Reds backed the wrong horse, believing instead that Nick Lodolo or Graham Ashcraft should've received that big pay day. Lodolo has been out for most of the season with a lower leg injury, and Ashcraft has endured similar ups and downs as Greene in Year 2 in the big leagues.

But Greene's performance upon returning from the COVID-19-related injured list was exactly what the Reds needed at exactly the right time. Greene, who'd just begun to return to form after dealing with a hip issues earlier in the season, missed two starts in late-August/ early-September.

But, on September 10th against the St. Louis Cardinals, Greene returned and allowed just one run on one hit with nine strikeouts. While Greene did walk four batters, he lasted six innings and gave Cincinnati manager David Bell 109 pitches. Being able to go back out for the sixth inning was key to that outing from Greene.

Hunter Greene is the Cincinnati Reds frontline starter at the moment, and he has all the raw tools to be an effective starting pitcher for years to come. While Year 2 has been met with some adversity, there's every reason to believe that Greene can overcome his struggles and be the top-flight starter Cincinnati needs.