We haven’t seen much of Nick Lodolo on the mound for the Cincinnati Reds this spring. The left-handed starter isn’t in big league camp, but instead was invited out to “early minor league camp”. Some guys from the early minor league camp have gotten more playing time in the “A” games than others, and two guys even got called up and invited to big league camp from early minor league camp – Jonathan India and Brandon Finnegan. With a lot of competition for the #5 starter spot, and plenty of competition in the bullpen, there haven’t been a ton of innings available for a guy like Lodolo.

Five days ago we saw Nick Lodolo throw an inning against San Diego. He allowed three hits and an earned run while striking out two batters. His only other appearance with the big league club this spring came nearly two weeks before that, on March 2nd, when he also threw just one inning (no hits, but did hit a batter, walk a batter, and picked up a strikeout).

Tonight we should expect to see more than an inning of work from Nick Lodolo. While he’s probably not pitching for a spot in the rotation tonight, the team still needs to have someone cover some innings. With Tejay Antone pushed back a little bit, the Reds are calling on Lodolo to step in on Antone’s scheduled day. As with most spring games, the bullpen will be flush with options to fill the game out if needed – there are 10 other pitchers listed as “possibly available” for the game in Thursday’s game notes for Friday.

The Reds are expecting Nick Lodolo to be a starter this season. While he likely has not been asked to be ready to throw six innings the first week of April, he’s been building up this spring more than a reliever would as he gets ready for the season ahead of him – whenever that does start (the minor league season doesn’t begin until May 4th, but it’s possible – though unlikely – he could be asked to pitch in the Majors before then). I’d venture to guess he’ll thrown multiple innings tonight against the Giants before handing things over to the bullpen.

There’s no television broadcast available for the game. That means we won’t get a chance to see exactly what’s happening. It will be interesting to see if with more innings to throw if he will mix in his change up more frequently tonight – a pitch he took strides with last year at Prasco. We’ll likely have to rely on the radio crew to notice – if they can from the booth – and relay that information in real time. After the game Lodolo could be available to the media (usually the starting pitcher is), and it’s possible he’s asked about that during the zoom meeting. As always, any time a minor leaguer is available to the media through the team I’ll have the full interview available on Patreon. Depending on what is said (if he’s even available, of course), at least some of that will be on these pages, too.

7 Responses

  1. Doc

    Seems to me a point of concern when with less than two weeks until opening day, instead of setting up the rotation and building starter innings, the Reds are trying to find pit hers available to eat ST innings while projected starters heal. I fear this could portend another rousing poor start when the bell rings.

    • Doug Gray

      I don’t think that’s the case. Castillo, Mahle, Lorenzen, Miley, Hoffman, and De Leon are all on target right now to start the year on time. Antone still may be. Sonny could only need to be skipped the first time through the rotation thanks to the off day.

  2. Doug Gray

    Well I guess he was only getting one inning, which is kind of disappointing. Having 10 relievers on the travel roster, though, may have been a tip off as to what was going to take place tonight.

    • Old Big Ed

      I interpreted Lodolo’s 1-inning stint as a recognition that they have to monitor his overall innings, and that they may need him as a starter in August or so. To make it work, they look to be slow-walking Lodolo and Greene and some others. (And they will likely be extra cautious with Sonny Gray and Antone for the same general reason.)

      A lot of teams are going to struggle with the innings issue this year. I think that Gerrit Cole led all pitchers in total IP last year, including playoffs, at 91 innings. Cole is probably the most reliable “horse” of a pitcher in baseball, but even the Yankees can’t expect Cole to pitch 180 innings in the regular season and still be effective in the post-season.

      There might be a lot of high-scoring MLB games come August.

  3. Rod

    A bit concerning that Hunter Greene is never in the convo for the major league team. Perhaps I’m just impatient.

    • Doug Gray

      You’re impatient. He’s thrown a half-season of innings in Low-A, and hasn’t pitched in a game that counts in 2.5 years.

  4. Tomn

    lodulo impresses me. Looking forward to seeing him in reg season.