Don’t freak out, Nick Lodolo is healthy. But the Cincinnati Reds 1st round pick has been shut down for the rest of the season and will not pitch again. The Reds were watching his innings very carefully after the draft. The left-handed pitcher threw 103.0 innings for TCU during the college season. After being drafted, Cincinnati had him make eight starts between Billings and Dayton, but he threw all of 18.1 innings in that time as he threw between 11-50 pitches in each outing.

When Nick Lodolo was on the mound as a professional, he was rather dominant. He posted a 2.45 ERA between his two stops. He allowed one home run, didn’t walk anyone, and the lefty struck out 30 of the 74 batters he faced. The Reds are very happy with how 2019 played out for Nick Lodolo on the mound. Their focus now is for the 2020 season for the left-handed starting pitcher.

In his final start on Tuesday night, he allowed three hits over 4.0 innings with one earned run, no walks, and he struck out four batters. During the outing he mixed in his fastball, that worked 93-95, and touched 96 more than a few times. But it was his slider that was the most impressive.

“He went after them and mixing in his slider. It’s pretty good. That slider is going to play well,” said Dayton manager Luis Bolivar following the game.

The change up is also showing up in games now, too. There were several thrown on Tuesday. They were in the 88-89 MPH range – maybe a little closer in velocity to his fastball than you would normally like to see. But it’s a pitch he’s been working on both in the bullpen sessions and more recently in games.

“It’s definitely coming around,” said Lodolo. “In college I threw it a little bit, but it’s something I haven’t thrown, so being comfortable with it is not necessarily there yet. The last two weeks though have been a step in a positive direction. I’m getting it to go in the direction I want now consistently. It’s just a matter of mixing it in and when to do that. I’ve been working on it in bullpens, but you’ve got to get game reps with it and work it in there.”

Here’s a final look at the stats this season for Nick Lodolo, including his time in college:

TCU 6 6 2.36 103.0 76 8 25 131 0.98
Dayton 0 0 2.57 7.0 6 0 0 9 0.86
Billings 0 1 2.38 11.1 12 1 0 21 1.06
Pro Totals 0 1 2.45 18.1 18 1 0 30 0.98


34 Responses

  1. reds

    Hey Doug, you hear anything about Finny’s velo? 5 scoreless so far since coming back with 6k 1bb. Could still be a nice pen piece if he keeps it going

    • Doc

      I am hoping that his performance is the real thing, and that it is representative of results from the change in pitching coaches and the integration of Johnson’s philosophy throughout the organization. How exciting would that be?

      • Jefferson Green

        Agreed. This would be awesome! I just continue to be more impressed with DJ (and the Reds’ ability to snag him) – the comments from Bauer and others this week are very telling and further reinforce the reputation of this team with DJ on it.

  2. MK

    Wonder if they will do the same thing with other first year college guys like Fisher, Raby and Ashcroft.

    • The Duke

      My guess is no. Maybe if there is only a week or so left and they say their arm is tired. Lodolo’s workload is going to be managed as a premium pick. Unless any of the other draftees just impress the hell out of them, then I doubt they will be that cautious.

      • MK

        You know Duke I had a talk with Tony Fossas and DeLino Deshields about this very topic a few years ago. I took them to breakfast in Lansing Michigan one morning and rather than the friendly nonsense we usually talked Iasked them how in God’s name could they continue to use a couple guys who had been terrible all year. They told me it was their job to honor, protect, and respect each players career, regardless of prospect status. Whether that was continually using them when they were obviously overmatched or protecting them from over use. IRealize the high dollar guys get added scrutiny but those other guys should be getting respect as well.

  3. AirborneJayJay

    I thought that they might get Lodolo 2 or 3 more starts, about 6-9 more innings in, just get a little more experience and data on him for the off-season. I was thinking that would be nice and useful to have to determine where to start him next year, at A or A+. But I totally understand the move. It removes the risk of any freak injury happening if he had a few extra starts. He is good to go as is now.
    I would surmise that they have pretty much already decided that he will start out at A+, Daytona and go from there. If he has an outstanding spring then possibly AA. The Reds need him to marinate next year and be ready for a 2021 debut. There seems to be two rotation spots opening after 2020, Bauer and DeSclafani.
    With the trading of Trammell, Lodolo’s care and development become crucial and paramount.

    • The Duke

      I think there is about 0.000001% chance he starts next year back in Dayton. The question will be Daytona or Chattanooga. How his changeup develops over the offseason will likely be the determining factor on where he starts.

    • wes

      I say it’s 100% Daytona. If he dominates over first 4-6 starts they will call him to Chattanooga and from there he can go straight to Cincy if his performance warrants it.

      If rotation next season is

      And then Mahle/Sims are next two up- it won’t take long for Lodolo to pass either of them as next best option next season. If he’s not in rotation by July then he will be in pen if Reds are pushing for post season.

      • Oldtimer

        Lodolo will play in MiLB all of 2020. He may be a Red by mid year 2021.

  4. jbonireland

    I’m sorry, but does this mean that every draft choice the got from college will be shut down with two months to go. At this rate of an additional 30 innings per season, he should make his first start for the Reds in 2023.

    Changing the subject did any one notice the ranking the worst managers currently in MLB. Our boy David Bell was ranked the 4th worst in Major League Baseball. It seems Doug wrote a story this morning about Josh Van Meter getting the starts at second base. I guess they forgot to tell Bell that is the plan. Tonights line up has one lefthanded batter in it Joey. How are they supposed to find out if Van Meter can hit left handers if he only bats against right handers.

    Oh well just ranting……….

    • The Duke

      Dayton’s last regular season game (I don’t think they’ll qualify for the playoffs) is September 2nd, so it’s less than 5 weeks left in the season, not 2 months. He’s thrown just over 120 IP this year, which puts him right in line to throw a full minor league season next year of 150-160 IP and to be ready for a full MLB load the next season in 2021. Not to mention he likely throws more during fall instructionals.

      Yeah, VanMeter should be playing every day unless he just looks gassed and absolutely needs a day off. We need more .300 hitters in our lineup, not less.

    • Jefferson Green

      Remember, the Reds need to find out about Peraza, Ervin, and Aquino over the next two months, as well, to prepare for 2020.

  5. Norwood Nate

    Would have liked to see more of those innings at Dayton, but it is what it is. Probably starts in Daytona next year?

  6. The Duke

    At this point I feel pretty comfortable calling Lodolo our top prospect. It’s nice to have a draft pick live up to (if not exceed) the hype coming out of the draft and kick some behinds like Senzel did.

    • AirborneJayJay

      It sure is. I would think he would have to be listed #1 in the next rankings.
      One thing I am looking forward to this winter is Tyler Stephenson having the chance to work often with the Reds 3rd base coach JR House. He was a very good Catcher fundamentally behind the plate at one time. Okey’s time with the Reds may have come and gone after this season. He just hasn’t hit since he was drafted. I certainly wouldn’t put him on the 40 man roster this winter just to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. So this will be an important off-season for TStephenson. He has done fairly well at AA so far this year with a line of .266/.354/.386. But it would be great to see him take a big step up in his development for a jump to AAA next year. I would like to see TStephenson make a jump over Santillan and India on the prospect listings next spring. He needs to improve some more to do that. His K% is down 4% this year so far, but his BB% is down 2%. Work to be done.

      • Alex

        He needs to learn how to hit for power in games. 386 slugging is really bad for a player like him that is said to have alot of raw power.

      • The Duke

        In game power can be the lagging indicator with high school players some time, and the demands of catching also take a lot of practice time, moreso than any other position. The power will come, especially once he gets to hit the juiced balls in AAA and MLB. Plus he’s hitting .273/.361/.396 now, which is still an above average OPS for the Southern league.

  7. Seadog

    One of the better decisions I have seen them make. Protect the “young” arms. I love Lorenzen in the “outfield” But, why. If he makes a long/hard throw (after being on the mound). Ugh. Just asking for trouble. What if he “dislocates” a shoulder running into the wall? Pitchers are pitchers period. Make the choice. Protect them. My humble opinion.

  8. Simon Cowell

    Clint Hurdle only getting 2 game suspension ensures that this behavior is going to continue. Why Joe Torre protects the stupid mindset of throwing at batters is baffling. Clint Hurdle should be suspended for 30 games at least. The message MLB is sending is that if you defend yourself you will face a tougher penalty than fostering bad behavior.

    • Redsvol

      because clint is part of the good old boy network of Joe Torre’s – where you say one thing to the media and do something different during the game. At least Bell has the guts to tell it like it is to the media and support his players during the game.

    • Oldtimer

      He was a Red in 1982. Lousy.

      1982 CIN NL 19 37 34 2 7 1 0 0 1 0 1 2 6 .206 .270 .235 .506 42 8 1 1 0 0 2 7/9

  9. Martino

    Lodolo tossed quite a bit in college so it’s no wonder he’s shut down now and a good move IMO..No point in burning his arm up in meaningless Dragon games at this point.
    I’m still excited with Joel Kuhnel hoping to see his power FB out of the pen later this season with the mother ship. I cannot figure for the life of me why he’s so low on the “prospects list” with Heatherly and his 8.31 ERA a full 7 slots ahead of him.. That’s just crazy talk..
    I wonder just how many 100 mph arms with ERA’s under 1.90 are languishing at 24 on other teams prospect lists.. Not too many I suspect. That’s just nuts..

  10. Reaganspad

    I think he should DH every game for the rest of the year

  11. Daytonian

    A wise decision, given his workload this year. Protect a valued young arm. Teaching and learning can continue without the added stress of a game situation. We will have the time to see and expect more from Lodolo next season. Good move!

  12. Billy Martin

    I have been a REDS true fan since the days of Ewell Blackwell amd except for his crossfire pitching it was always a tough patch to get through. However keep the faith and maybe we can develop and SUPER 8 LINEUP again that team did my old heart good I wore my Reds ballcap with pride what a team and when they scooped the dreaded Yankees in 4 games I was so proud but when the front office started to break up the machine it was like 1947 again. Please don’t ever be that stupid again. I turned 87 this year and I want one more big RED HURRAH…..Just ole Kentucky Bill talkin