Reds notebook: Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo and Graham Ashcraft

When the Cincinnati Reds went through their last rebuild, it ended up failing miserably. A large part of the reason it happened was that a lot of this rebuilding was entirely dependent on the youngsters starting the performances the team had in the juniors advancing and performing in the major leagues. Robert Stevenson, Cody Reed, Prince Jarrett, Sal Romano, Rocky Davis, Brandon Finnegan and the crew have never looked like rookies. Eventually the team would find success with Luis Castillo and later with Tyler Mahley as starters.

When the Reds went into the current rebuild, they had two of the top potential players in baseball with Hunter Green and Nick Ludlow. With the season coming to a close, the odds aren’t there anymore, but they’ve established themselves as league starters and are joined by Graham Ashcraft. The three beginners had different levels of success.

Nick Ludlow was off to a great start. Since returning from the hit list, he’s made 13 starts and posted 3.47 ERAs in 72.2 innings. In the second half of the season, he did even better, posting 2.95 ERAs in 10 starts. In the year, his ERA is now down to 3.81. Graham Ashcraft is set to begin rehab today in Louisville after missing out last month. Prior to entering the injured list, he had made 16 starts with a 3.97 ERA in 93.0 innings, while being among the best starting players in the globe average.

Hunter Green Era is not less than 4.00 like other beginners. After his last start, he got under 5.00, dropping to 4.97 with 6.0 rounds off against the St. Louis Cardinals over the weekend. The youngest and least experienced of the trio, Greene battled greater contradiction than the other two. At times he was quite dominant—like when he gave up no hits in innings 7.1 to the Pirates back in May, or when he let a starter against Arizona in June in 7.0 innings, or in his last two rounds when he got up to five combined hits in 12.0 rounds with 19 strokes without walking. But he also ran into some difficulties, such as when he allowed eight runs – including five home runs – to The Brewers in 2.2 innings on May 5th.

The competitions at home were the biggest area in which Green suffered. He has given up 23 of them, and before entering the injured list at the beginning of August, he had given up more home runs than any other player in baseball. In his last five starts, he only gave up one home run in 29.1 runs.

Watching the Cincinnati Reds near the end of the season isn’t all that fun. The daily squad that runs there is full of guys who are unlikely to start playing next season, with a few of them looking like top players. Bullpen has quite a few interesting players, but it also has many players who each time ask questions if this will be their last ride before they are assigned the task. The rotation was moving through the waiver of exemptions and mitigations that may have once begun. But when today is the day Nick Ludlow, Hunter Green or Graham Ashcraft later this week take The Hill for the Reds, fans can at least see a future staple the organization is trying to sell them on.

Conor Overton is making his way back

On Sunday afternoon, Conor Overton began his second rehab with the Triple-A Louisville Bats. He would allow two runs (both came in solo home runs) in 5.0 innings as he gives up four hits, walks in hits, and hits five. He made 78 shots a day.

Having made 78 throws, he appears ready to return to the major leagues from a workload standpoint. He’s done well on his two games off to the bat too, so unless he feels like he needs another outing to work on something, don’t be surprised to see him again on the big league roster later this week.