The Cincinnati Reds will be without two of their starting pitchers over the next week. On Friday, both Hunter Greene and Ben Lively were placed on the COVID-19 injured list.
Lyon Richardson got the start in Game 2 of the doubleheader on Friday night, but the youngster is on an innings-limit after returning from Tommy John surgery.
Not only that, but Graham Ashcraft was battling through an injury in Game 1 of the doubleheader. According to Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Ashcraft left the game early with a toe injury. If Ashcraft is unable to go next week, what will the Reds starting rotation look like going forward?
What will the Reds starting rotation look like if Graham Ashcraft lands on the injured list?
In addition to Hunter Greene and Ben Lively being placed on the IL, the Cincinnati Reds are already without Connor Overton, Nick Lodolo, Justin Dunn, and Vladimir Gutierrez. If Graham Ashcraft misses time due to his toe injury, what will the Reds starting rotation look like?
Thankfully, both Andrew Abbott and Brandon Williamson are healthy. However, the two rookie pitchers have thrown more pitches than they ever have in their professional careers, and will be monitored carefully down the stretch.
Carson Spiers was added to the active roster on Friday as a substitute player, and it's quite likely that the right-hander will be part of the starting rotation next week. Brett Kennedy was added to the Reds 28-man roster as well.
Levi Stoudt is an option if the Reds get into a pickle. Stoudt was part of last year's trade that sent Luis Castillo to the Seattle Mariners. The 25-year-old has received a couple spot-starts this season already.
Abbott will get the ball today and Williamson will toe the rubber for Sunday's series finale against the Chicago Cubs. Spiers last pitched on Sunday, so he should be available to take the ball on Monday if needed.
Odd as it may sound, a starting rotation of Abbott, Williamson, Spiers, Lyon Richardson, and Brett Kennedy could be on the horizon. Connor Phillips is another name to watch, but the Cincinnati Reds would have to add the right-hander to the 40-man roster.