BREAKING NEWS: Cincinnati Reds manager regret signing a contract with them due to………

Last night, Graham Ashcraft made his second appearance since being demoted to Triple-A Louisville. His previous outing had been solid, resulting in a quality start where he allowed three runs on five hits, with one walk and four strikeouts over six innings. However, his performance on Thursday against Omaha was notably improved.

Ashcraft delivered six innings of impressive pitching, conceding just one run against the Storm Chasers. Similar to his first start, he allowed five hits and issued one walk, but this time he managed to avoid giving up any home runs. Moreover, he doubled his strikeout count, totaling eight strikeouts for the game.

His slider proved particularly effective, as he threw 40 of them with batters swinging at 24, resulting in 12 swings and misses—a 50% whiff rate. This was a significant improvement compared to recent starts, as he hadn’t generated this level of swinging strikes since August 9th of the previous year.

Meanwhile, Noelvi Marte, still serving a suspension for a positive PED test during spring training, began his rehab assignment on June 11th with Triple-A Cincinnati. His debut game saw him go 2-5 with a double and a run scored, but his performance has since slowed. Over eight games, Marte has managed just seven hits in 36 at-bats, including a double, with no walks and 10 strikeouts. This translates to a .194/.194/.222 slash line, indicating struggles with lifting the ball, evident in his 58% groundball rate, well above the MLB average.

Marte’s suspension is set to conclude on June 27th, requiring his addition back to the 40-man roster by that date, though not necessarily the major league roster. With his current offensive struggles, there is a possibility the Reds may choose to option him back to the minors initially.

Regarding Marte’s future, decisions loom on whether he is ready to rejoin the major league squad, especially given his recent performance at Triple-A. It might be prudent to allow him more time in Louisville to regain his rhythm before considering a promotion.

In summary, both Ashcraft and Marte face critical junctures in their careers, with Ashcraft showing promising signs of improvement in Triple-A, while Marte looks to rediscover his form at the plate amidst his rehab stint. These developments will likely shape the decisions of the Cincinnati Reds in the coming weeks.

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