Could Braxton Ashcraft be nearing a promotion to Indianapolis?

The Pirates just released Cam Alldred from their Triple-A affiliate. This opens a spot in the Indians' rotation. Could this be the chance for the Pirates' sixth-best prospect, Braxton Ashcraft, to get promoted?
Baltimore Orioles v Pittsburgh Pirates
Baltimore Orioles v Pittsburgh Pirates / Christopher Pasatieri/GettyImages

Braxton Ashcraft, the Pirates' sixth-best prospect, is having a solid year with the Pirates' Double-A affiliate, the Altoona Curve. Up another level in Indianapolis, the team just released Cam Alldred, a left-handed pitcher who made his Major League debut in 2022. This transaction could result in a promotion for Ashcraft, who has been one of the best arms on the Curve's team.

Ashcraft has battled multiple injuries in his career, which has prevented him from pitching a lot of innings in his professional career. The most innings he has thrown in one season is 53, which was in 2019. He is already very close to passing that this season with much better numbers to follow.

This season, Ashcraft has a 1-2 record with a 3.76 earned run average in 40.2 innings pitched and has struck out 44 batters. He also has a WHIP of 1.20 and an opposing batting average of .261. His FIP is a strong 3.33, and his walks per nine innings is solid at 1.55.

With numbers like that, a promotion could be likely. Ashcraft brings an upper-90s fastball with high spin. He also adds a hard slider at 89 miles per hour. His curveball misses a lot of bats in the lower-80s. That change in speed with his slider and curveball helps him be effective with his hard fastball. He has a changeup but has not used it much in his career. Those three pitches are what he mainly uses.

A promotion for Ashcraft is definetly looming, especially after Alldred was released. This season, Alldred had a 1-3 record with an earned run average of 6.88 in 34 innings pitched and struck out 34 batters. He also had a WHIP of 1.68 and an opposing batting average of .289. Ashcraft would improve the Indianapolis rotation and boost his development with competetion closer to the MLB level.