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Thread: Cincinnati Reds Signal Win-Now Urgency With Ashcraft Demotion

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    Member Ron Madden's Avatar
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    Cincinnati Reds Signal Win-Now Urgency With Ashcraft Demotion

    Cincinnati Reds signal win-now urgency with Graham Ashcraft demotion
    Don’t get fooled by the lousy May and the saggy record in early June.

    When Cincinnati Reds team president Nick Krall said last week that he’s trying to “bank wins” and aspires to be a buyer at next month’s trade deadline, this is what he’s talking about.

    The Reds quickly won five out of six on the road after Krall’s comments at Wrigley Field last week, and on Thursday they optioned so-called Big Three core starter Graham Ashcraft to the minors for the first time since he debuted, over lack of performance in the past month.

    Consider it a signal of the organization’s win-now expectations for this season.

    “That’s what it is. It’s all about how can this team get better,” Krall said, “and how can we maximize players and how can they get better.

    “Graham’s been a really good contributor to this team, but right now he hasn’t pitched well, and we felt that it was best to send him down and hopefully get him right and give somebody else a shot in that spot.”

    “You look at the guys that have pitched in the rotation, and they’ve all been really good,” Krall said. “It’s been about how we can improve this team, whether it’s a little here, a little there.”

    “You want to get him right because (when he’s) right he belongs on this team,” Krall said. “But right now he’s just not pitching where he needs to be, and he needs to go get right at Triple-A and go from there.”
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    Re: Cincinnati Reds Signal Win-Now Urgency With Ashcraft Demotion

    Huh. Ashcraft (4.74 FIP) wasn't pitching great, but was putting up similar peripherals to last season. Depending on who's tabbed to replace Ashcraft in the rotation, this move has the potential to blow up in Krall's face.
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    Re: Cincinnati Reds Signal Win-Now Urgency With Ashcraft Demotion

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSD View Post
    Huh. Ashcraft (4.74 FIP) wasn't pitching great, but was putting up similar peripherals to last season. Depending on who's tabbed to replace Ashcraft in the rotation, this move has the potential to blow up in Krall's face.
    I wonder if they're looking for an excuse to give Williamson a few starts to see how he does. May be the case that Graham drew the shortest straw performance-wise.
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    Re: Cincinnati Reds Signal Win-Now Urgency With Ashcraft Demotion

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSD View Post
    Huh. Ashcraft (4.74 FIP) wasn't pitching great, but was putting up similar peripherals to last season. Depending on who's tabbed to replace Ashcraft in the rotation, this move has the potential to blow up in Krall's face.
    I think it's just a temporary move because they have a bunch of off days and a guy ready to come back from the IL. 4 Man rotation for the next couple of weeks and with one bullpen game on the 18th, it can last through the 25th. Reds are trying to keep their best relievers who all have options (Diaz, Cruz and Moll) and not risk losing any of the other 6 who would need to be DFA (Sims, Suter, Martinez, Pagan, Farmer, Wilson and Young). If they are all still healthy when they need a fifth starter, I'm guessing Wilson will be the one let go.

    I'd say Ashcraft still has the inside track on the 5th starter spot when it's needed, but if he pitches poorly in AAA, Williamson or Spiers might take that spot or they could recall Santillan and move Martinez in (I'm in favor of adding Santillan, but not Martinez starting).
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    Re: Cincinnati Reds Signal Win-Now Urgency With Ashcraft Demotion

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    I think it's just a temporary move because they have a bunch of off days and a guy ready to come back from the IL. 4 Man rotation for the next couple of weeks and with one bullpen game on the 18th, it can last through the 25th. Reds are trying to keep their best relievers who all have options (Diaz, Cruz and Moll) and not risk losing any of the other 6 who would need to be DFA (Sims, Suter, Martinez, Pagan, Farmer, Wilson and Young). If they are all still healthy when they need a fifth starter, I'm guessing Wilson will be the one let go.

    I'd say Ashcraft still has the inside track on the 5th starter spot when it's needed, but if he pitches poorly in AAA, Williamson or Spiers might take that spot or they could recall Santillan and move Martinez in (I'm in favor of adding Santillan, but not Martinez starting).
    If Krall is true to what he's saying there may be a few relievers that are scared right now if they can't get their own house in order. Santillan looking good at Louisville could force another move.

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    Re: Cincinnati Reds Signal Win-Now Urgency With Ashcraft Demotion

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    I think it's just a temporary move because they have a bunch of off days and a guy ready to come back from the IL. 4 Man rotation for the next couple of weeks and with one bullpen game on the 18th, it can last through the 25th. Reds are trying to keep their best relievers who all have options (Diaz, Cruz and Moll) and not risk losing any of the other 6 who would need to be DFA (Sims, Suter, Martinez, Pagan, Farmer, Wilson and Young). If they are all still healthy when they need a fifth starter, I'm guessing Wilson will be the one let go.

    I'd say Ashcraft still has the inside track on the 5th starter spot when it's needed, but if he pitches poorly in AAA, Williamson or Spiers might take that spot or they could recall Santillan and move Martinez in (I'm in favor of adding Santillan, but not Martinez starting).
    Agreed. This move took into consideration a lot more things than FIP. In fact that should be pretty far down the list of considerations


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    Re: Cincinnati Reds Signal Win-Now Urgency With Ashcraft Demotion

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSD View Post
    Huh. Ashcraft (4.74 FIP) wasn't pitching great, but was putting up similar peripherals to last season. Depending on who's tabbed to replace Ashcraft in the rotation, this move has the potential to blow up in Krall's face.
    Well last year they were grabbing guys out of the stands to start games for them.

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    Re: Cincinnati Reds Signal Win-Now Urgency With Ashcraft Demotion

    Aside from the demotion of Ashcraft to AAA, the thing that stuck out to me from the article was Krall stating that the Reds would be buyers at this year’s trade deadline. I hadn’t heard anyone in the organization saying that……

    Yeah, I know. We’ve heard this before, but somehow it does bring a bit more resonance this year. Overall they’ve been much more proactive; first bringing in Espinal when McLain went down and then Ford to bolster the lineup. Neither move brought a lot (if any) production, but you can’t say that they’ve sat on their hands and done nothing.
    Nothing but gas

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    Re: Cincinnati Reds Signal Win-Now Urgency With Ashcraft Demotion

    Quote Originally Posted by Powder River View Post
    Aside from the demotion of Ashcraft to AAA, the thing that stuck out to me from the article was Krall stating that the Reds would be buyers at this year’s trade deadline. I hadn’t heard anyone in the organization saying that……

    Yeah, I know. We’ve heard this before, but somehow it does bring a bit more resonance this year. Overall they’ve been much more proactive; first bringing in Espinal when McLain went down and then Ford to bolster the lineup. Neither move brought a lot (if any) production, but you can’t say that they’ve sat on their hands and done nothing.
    Even the Wilson signing right after Young went down showed the were being fairly aggressive this year.

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    Re: Cincinnati Reds Signal Win-Now Urgency With Ashcraft Demotion

    This is being proactive and a positive step. In years past, mediocre (even sub-par) has been given passes. Now, that gets you demoted. Couple that with a couple in AAA performing well, I think this is sending a freaking GREAT message; tells players either perform or else & tells the team a la a whole: WINNING MATTERS!

    I’m here for it. And I’m an Ashcraft fan too.

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    Re: Cincinnati Reds Signal Win-Now Urgency With Ashcraft Demotion

    Demoting your 5th starter who has a 6.83 ERA and 5.60 FIP over the last month and a career ERA just south of 5 is hardly noteworthy in my book.

    I've never understood why so many people on this board think Ashcraft is some budding #2/#3 type starter. Yeah, his stuff grades out pretty well. But he's got two MLB caliber pitches, a fringe changeup, and doesn't really miss bats. That's not a recipe for success as a SP. And nothing about his performance track record suggests real upside.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Re: Cincinnati Reds Signal Win-Now Urgency With Ashcraft Demotion

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Demoting your 5th starter who has a 6.83 ERA and 5.60 FIP over the last month and a career ERA just south of 5 is hardly noteworthy in my book.

    I've never understood why so many people on this board think Ashcraft is some budding #2/#3 type starter. Yeah, his stuff grades out pretty well. But he's got two MLB caliber pitches, a fringe changeup, and doesn't really miss bats. That's not a recipe for success as a SP. And nothing about his performance track record suggests real upside.
    Well said. And it seems like he’s the exact same pitcher he was when he came up. I haven’t seen any steps in development like a Hunter Greene is showing this year.

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    Re: Cincinnati Reds Signal Win-Now Urgency With Ashcraft Demotion

    I think there was a bad trend here for Ashcraft for sure. 3.63 ERA beginning of May then a 6.83 ERA in his past six starts and a 7.90 ERA over his past three outings. Trending in the wrong direction. This isn't a big deal. Bring up Williamson give him a shot. having a strong Ashcraft waiting in the minors would be a great thing later.

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    Re: Cincinnati Reds Signal Win-Now Urgency With Ashcraft Demotion

    Quote Originally Posted by Powder River View Post
    Aside from the demotion of Ashcraft to AAA, the thing that stuck out to me from the article was Krall stating that the Reds would be buyers at this year’s trade deadline. I hadn’t heard anyone in the organization saying that……

    Yeah, I know. We’ve heard this before, but somehow it does bring a bit more resonance this year. Overall they’ve been much more proactive; first bringing in Espinal when McLain went down and then Ford to bolster the lineup. Neither move brought a lot (if any) production, but you can’t say that they’ve sat on their hands and done nothing.
    It's not a huge impact, but Espinal has been a pretty significant upgrade over Jose Barrero. Every little bit adds up. Just keep improving the roster a little at a time.
    WHEN DOES IT STOP!?!?

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    Re: Cincinnati Reds Signal Win-Now Urgency With Ashcraft Demotion

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Demoting your 5th starter who has a 6.83 ERA and 5.60 FIP over the last month and a career ERA just south of 5 is hardly noteworthy in my book.

    I've never understood why so many people on this board think Ashcraft is some budding #2/#3 type starter. Yeah, his stuff grades out pretty well. But he's got two MLB caliber pitches, a fringe changeup, and doesn't really miss bats. That's not a recipe for success as a SP. And nothing about his performance track record suggests real upside.

    Probably best suited for relief, and if Williamson performs well, the Reds could and should consider moving him to the pen.

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