Nick Lodolo took the mound last night in Colorado Springs for the Billings Mustangs. He entered the game having not allowed a run on the year – in limited action. He also hadn’t allowed an extra-base hit yet. Both of those things could no longer be said after the first inning on Friday night. The left-handed starter gave up a double and a home run in the first inning, a part of a 3-hit, 2-run inning by the Vibes.

That was all he’d give up on the day. Of course, he is still being limited in his usage and he only threw 2.0 innings. That took 40 pitches, 28 of which were strikes. Nick Lodolo still hasn’t walked a single batter on the season. And he’s also now struck out 16 of the 35 batters he’s faced (46%).

In each of Nick Lodolo’s starts he has been followed by Omar Conoropo. The 21-year-old right-handed pitcher has come out of the bullpen five times this season, with the four most recent following Lodolo. Every appearance has lasted at least 3.0 innings, with two of them lasting at least 5.0 innings. Last night was his longest appearance of the year, allowing just one run in 5.2 innings with a walk and five strikeouts. That outing lowered his ERA on the season to 2.36. He’s thrown 26.2 innings overall, hasn’t allowed a home run yet this season, walked just three of the 100 hitters that he’s faced, and he’s racked up 25 strikeouts. It’s been a strong start to the year for the Venezuelan native.

Tyler Garbee continues to dominate for Greeneville

The Cincinnati Reds selected Tyler Garbee in the 19th round of the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft five weeks ago. The 22-year-old right-handed reliever was sent to Greeneville to begin his professional career and he’s pitching like someone who you would have expected to go much higher in the draft. He’s made six appearances. He’s yet to allow a run, earned or unearned. And along the way the former Mercyhurst pitcher has given up just eight hits and walked just three batters while striking out 17.

Joel Kuhnel’s outstanding season continues in Louisville

When the season began, Joel Kuhnel wasn’t exactly off of the radar. The right-handed reliever had just posted a 3.04 ERA for Daytona in 2018 with more strikeouts than innings, and the stuff was worth talking about. He came into the year rated as my #25 prospect in the Reds organization. In the midseason update he jumped up to #16 after dominating for the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts.

It was that first half that got Joel Kuhnel promoted to Triple-A Louisville in the second half. And so far, he’s just continued doing more of the game. With Chattanooga he had posted a 2.27 ERA in 35.2 innings with 30 strikeouts and 8 walks. He’s made seven appearances for the Bats since his promotion and he’s allowed just one run along the way. The righty has walked 3 batters and has 8 strikeouts. Between the two stops he’s now sporting a 2.05 ERA in 44.0 innings pitched.

7 Responses

  1. CP

    Doug, do you see Kuhnel being given a shot in the bullpen later this year? With the way Hernandez has been struggling and the possibility of fatigue from high usage for the other guys, he could be a welcome addition at some point I would think….

    • Doug Gray

      It wouldn’t surprise me one bit. He’s not on the 40-man, but he’s also got the kind of arm that you add to the 40-man when you think it’s ready – not the kind you wait around on to protect from the Rule 5.

  2. MK

    Lodolo would not be the first pitcher to be effected by the Colorado altitude. Wonder if they have a humidor for the balls there. Part of the learning curve (or lack of curve) as well.

    Be careful typing Lodolo as my spell check tries to make it Locomotive.

  3. David

    I wonder if Jonathan India is hurt. Any word? He came out of the game early on the 10th. Daytona was off the next two days. Now, on the 13th, they play a doubleheader, and no India in either game so far.

  4. Hanawi

    I realize AAA is a launching pad right, but O’Grady has 6 multi-HR games this year and he might be the 3rd best hitter on the team right now. The Reds have struggled for runs so much this year that it seems like they should give at least 1 or 2 of O’Grady, Van Meter or Aquino regular playing time to see if they can translate it to the majors.

  5. Martino Amello

    I’ve been kind of following Kuhnel awhile now and know he throws hard, but what kind of pitches other than a great FB does he use regularly? It seems like it’s been a good long time since I’ve bothered following any relief pitcher in the minors other than what was written almost daily about Chapman before he became a household name then subsequently given away for a bag of stale peanuts to the Yankees.
    Anyway…kind of excited about Joel in Red.