The Cincinnati Reds pitching in the minor leagues has been outstanding in the first month of the year. On Wednesday night they got two of their best performances of the year from Nick Lodolo and Evan Kravetz.
Let’s start with Nick Lodolo. He took the mound last night for Chattanooga and was coming off of the worst outing of his career. He only allowed one run against Montgomery last week, but he recorded just one out in the 4th inning before leaving the game after having walked four batters and giving up five hits. A rain out gave him an additional day of rest, making it a full week between that start and the one last night.
The rest worked. Taking on the Mississippi Braves, Nick Lodolo struck out 11 batters on 90 pitches in 7.1 innings. The left-handed starter also set a new career high in innings pitched – he had never pitched into the 6th inning before last night, but reached the 8th for the Lookouts before reaching is pitch count limit of 90.
How did his arm hold up over the night? He was still throwing 95 in the 8th inning to the one batter he faced, and that’s exactly where he was sitting in the previous seven innings, too. It seems as though Lodolo has added a little bit of spin to his slider, too. In 2019 his slider’s spin rate was in that 2500-2600 range most of the time. Last night he was reaching the 2700-2900 range with the pitch.
After the conclusion of the start, Nick Lodolo’s stats on the year, and his career – while limited in scale on both – are hilarious.
Evan Kravetz shines in Daytona
The Daytona Tortugas have the lowest ERA in the Low-A Southeast by a wide margin. On Wednesday evening Evan Kravetz did his part to keep it that way.
The 6′ 8″ left-handed pitcher struck out 10 Jupiter Hammerheads in 5.0 shutout innings while allowing just three hits and walking no one. Kravetz threw just 84 pitches and had 50 of them go for strikes on the night.
There were nearly two full years between starts for Evan Kravetz. In 2019 he was the Reds 5th round pick and the team sent him to pitch for the now defunct Greeneville Reds. He made just one start and threw just one inning in that start before he was shut down after a long college season earlier that spring. He’s gone out and pitched like he’s been waiting forever to get back on the mound. The lefty has allowed just one run and just five hits in 11.1 innings this season for Daytona. He’s also struck out 20 of the 44 batters he’s faced to go along with six walks.