140 pitchers threw at least 100 innings at the Major League level during the 2022 season. Only 8 of them eclipsed the 54.5% groundball rate of Cincinnati Reds righty Graham Ashcraft, who’ll get the start today against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
It’s that ability to keep the ball on the ground and within the tiny confines of Great American Ball Park that makes him such an intriguing option for the Reds, in particular. That he chucks a 100 mph cutter and has added a hard slider that’s been the talk of the dugout only adds to his mystique as he begins his first full season as a member of the Reds.
Ashcraft will toe the rubber on Sunday in the series finale against the Pittsburgh Pirates and will do so with a chance to seal a series win. Saturday’s 6-2 thrashing of the Pirates on the backs of a trio of big flies by the Reds bats set that stage, and they’ll try to top veteran right-hander Vince Velasquez today to get the job done.
First pitch is set for 1:40 PM ET.