The Cincinnati Reds got some more bad news on Saturday as they had to place pitcher Graham Ashcraft on the 15-day injured list with a stress reaction in his big toe on his right foot. They also had to place Brandon Williamson on the COVID-19 injured list. Taking their place on the roster will be left-handed pitcher Chasen Shreve and right-handed pitcher Connor Phillips. Phillips is being added as a substitute player, while the club added Shreve to the 40-man roster. Cincinnati also announced that outfielder Michael Siani was claimed on waivers by the St. Louis Cardinals today, and that Alejo Lopez cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A.
The Reds rotation is currently a mess. Graham Ashcraft, Brandon Williamson, Ben Lively, and Hunter Greene are all on the injured list for one reason or another. The bullpen isn’t doing much better with Alex Young and Fernando Cruz on the injured list. Cincinnati’s rotation is to be determined for the near future as Williamson was expected to start on Sunday, while Monday and Tuesday were both TBA before Ashcraft was going to pitch on Wednesday. Now all four spots will be TBA. Connor Phillips last started on August 31st, so he won’t be able to pitch again until Tuesday – which would be against Seattle, who traded him to Cincinnati. Carson Spiers, who joined the club yesterday hasn’t pitched in a week, so he could step in to make a start whenever the club needs him to do so.
Hunter Greene and Ben Lively would be eligible to return on Friday and Saturday if they are healthy. But in the short term the Reds may have a whole lot of stuff to figure out and hope the bubblegum and duct tape can hold things together.
Phillips is one of the top pitching prospects in the organization and he’s coming off of a strong start on Thursday when he tossed six shutout innings, but he had really struggled for the three weeks prior to that, not getting out of the second inning in three straight starts while allowing 15 earned runs. When he’s on, his stuff can match up with just about anyone, but he’s run into some real struggles lately, too.
It’s only been a little more than three weeks since Chasen Shreve was in the big leagues. He was released by the Tigers on August 13th and signed with the Reds on a minor league deal four days later. His ERA with Detroit was 4.79 this season in 41.1 innings. In six games with Louisville he allowed one run in 4.0 innings.
Graham Ashcraft wound up exiting his last start because of the pain in his toe. After he left the game he went to get an MRI on his foot and it turned out to be bad news. As of now there’s no timetable for his return.