The Double-A South has named their players of the month for May and Chattanooga Lookouts starter Nick Lodolo took home the honors for Pitcher of the Month. The left-handed starter is 2-0 with a 1.01 ERA in 26.2 innings. He’s allowed just 16 hits – holding opposing hitters to a .172/.245/.204 line on the year – with no homers allowed, just six walks, and he’s struck out 38 of the 102 batters that he has faced this year.
To say that it’s been a strong start to the year for the Cincinnati Reds 2nd rated prospect would be an understatement. Lodolo leads the league in WHIP at 0.83, his ERA ranks 2nd, his average against is also 2nd, he’s 3rd in strikeouts, 3rd in strikeout to walk ratio, and 4th in innings.
On May 19th Nick Lodolo had the best start of his career. On the road in Mississippi, the lefty struck out 11 Braves and allowed just one hit, hit one batter, and walked one batter in 7.1 innings. In his last start things didn’t go as well. Lodolo gave up two runs in the 1st inning – accounting for three of the runs he’s allowed all year – but locked in after that. Things were going well until the 5th inning when during the first at-bat of the frame he called for the trainer to come out to the mound. He had a blister that was causing him a problem and after some discussion he was removed from the game.
Fun with the numbers
When looking at a left-handed pitcher you tend to see splits against lefties favor the pitcher. With Nick Lodolo that’s definitely how it works. While he’s dominated against righties, holding them to a .524 OPS this season they might as well be All-Stars compared to what lefties are doing against him. Lodolo has held left-handed batters to a .135/.200/.135 line in 40 plate appearances. He’s walked three of them, struck out 18, and given up just five singles. While we’re only talking about one month and just 26.2 overall innings pitched, Lodolo has also been a ground ball machine – inducing grounders at a rate of 60% so far this year. To put that in context the average ground ball rate this year in Major League Baseball is 43.5%, which means that Lodolo is getting ground balls about 50% more often than your average big leaguer is on a rate basis.