Nick Lodolo has been selected to represent the Cincinnati Reds at the 2021 Major League Baseball All-Star Futures Game in Colorado this year. The game will be held at Coors Field on Sunday July 11th.
Every year on the Sunday before the Major League Baseball All-Star game the host city has what is called All-Star Sunday. The big event on the day is the All-Star Futures Game where minor league baseball players from each organization are chosen to represent a “future look” at the next wave of big league stars. The game has evolved a little bit over time. It used to be Team USA vs Team World, but now it’s just the National League vs American League.
Every team is represented by at least one player. This year the Cincinnati Reds are one of the organizations that only has one representative. 2019 1st round pick Nick Lodolo is an interesting choice. It’s not because he doesn’t have the talent or the numbers to warrant his selection – he absolutely does. It’s because he is currently on the injured list in Double-A Chattanooga. Lodolo exited his last start on June 12 when he developed a blister on his pitching hand for the second time in two weeks. He had previously left his May 30th start with a blister and was skipped the next time through the rotation. This time around he’s missed three weeks worth of starts.
It would seem that the Reds are confident that he’ll be good to go in two weeks. The left-handed starter certainly deserves the accolades and recognition as one of the top prospects in the organization. He’s made six starts for Double-A Chattanooga this season and has posted a 0.90 ERA for the Lookouts. In his 30.0 innings pitched he’s allowed just 19 hits – no home runs – while walking six batters and striking out 45 of the 116 hitters he’s faced.
Nick Lodolo hasn’t thrown a lot in his professional career. In 2019 he only threw 18.1 innings after the draft before he was shut down (he threw 103.0 innings at TCU that season). Then there was no minor league season in 2020, though Lodolo did participate with the Reds at their alternate site – we just don’t have stats for what happened there. This season he’s at just 30.0 innings due to the blister issue. Still, he’s been laughably dominant when he’s been on the mound. He’s got a career 1.49 ERA through 14 starts that cover 48.1 innings where he’s struck out 75 batters.