The Cincinnati Reds needed a starting pitcher for Friday night after Tejay Antone had to exit his last start with a mild groin strain. Friday would have been the regular spot for Antone, who is set to throw off of the mound in a side session on Saturday, and to keep the other pitchers on their normal schedules, Cincinnati gave the ball to Nick Lodolo to start the game on Friday night.
The start itself wasn’t exactly a full on start, though. Nick Lodolo only threw one inning in the game, and it seems that it was by design as the roster had 10 other pitchers on it, and there was a new pitcher used for each inning of the game. For Lodolo’s part, he was charged with a run in an inning of work on two hits and he picked up a strikeout. Despite the run, he felt good with his performance.
“I felt really good,” said Lodolo after the game. “Probably the best I’ve felt so far being out there. Really felt like things were starting to come together as I get more and more innings out there. Pretty happy with how things went stuff wise. Timing was really good. I was able to get on top of my stuff, which personally I feel like I’ve been fighting a little bit. I think that just comes with getting out there more and more.”
Last year while at Prasco, Nick Lodolo was working on his change up. Coming out of TCU it was a pitch that he had, but not one that he used all that often. And when he did use it, it was clearly behind both his fastball and his breaking ball. The pitch has improved since then, and on Friday night he got the desired result with the pitch against big league opponents.
“That was a good one,” Lodolo said of the change up he got a ground out on. “My change up the last couple outings hasn’t been where I’d like it to be and I only threw one tonight, and obviously I got an out on that one and it was good. I liked how it felt and everything.”
While Nick Lodolo isn’t technically in big league camp – he’s in “early minor league camp” – much of the work is mixed at the facility. With access to being around many big league pitchers, he’s taking full advantage of being able to talk to and ask questions of guys who have been through the journey he’s taking as he tries to reach the Major Leagues.
“I wouldn’t say a single guy specifically,” said Lodolo of if there was anyone he has been learning from on the pitching staff. “All the guys have been great to me. I pick their brain, all of them, right and left handed. It’s nice that we are all together and stuff, so I can do that. We’re not in single groups, every day it switches so I’m around different guys every single day and I really enjoy that.”