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.