The news appears to have gotten worse for the Cincinnati Reds and left-handed starting pitcher Nick Lodolo. Over the weekend he was placed on the injured list with calf tendinosis in his left leg. The diagnosis at that point in time was that he would miss at least four weeks. A follow up MRI for Lodolo showed that the lefty also had a stress reaction in his left tibia. Mark Sheldon of was the first to report this and also noted there would be a follow up MRI in two weeks.

The season began well for Nick Lodolo. In his first three starts he allowed four total runs, posting a 2.12 ERA in 17.0 innings while giving up one home run, walking six batters, and striking out 17 of the 75 hitters he faced. But things went south after that, starting out with the worst start of his career when he allowed eight runs on 12 hits, three hit batters, and a walk in 4.2 innings against Tampa Bay on April 18th. He didn’t really recover from there as his ERA jumped to 6.29 after his only start in May on the 6th against the White Sox.

Around that time we had begun to hear that he had been dealing with some discomfort in his lower leg/calf/ankle area for a few weeks, but was pitching through it. For a few starts there he said it wasn’t really bothering him while he pitched. Now that we know what we know, he clearly wasn’t pitching on a healthy leg at all and it certainly helps explain how seemingly overnight Nick Lodolo went from outstanding to batting tee.

A change in the rotation

The Cincinnati Reds are pushing back Luke Weaver and Hunter Greene. They were originally slated to start on Friday night and Saturday afternoon in Cincinnati against the New York Yankees. Now they each get pushed back a day, with Ben Lively jumping into the rotation to start on Friday night. Sunday’s spot was initially listed as TBA.

48 Responses

  1. LDS

    Bob needs to open the checkbook soon. Pitching is hanging by a thread. They started the season short of starting pitching and it’s only gotten worse. At least we finally have a possible explanation for Lodolo’s performance decline.

  2. Optimist

    Is it true that the Yankees rotation is also adjusting – i.e. German suspension pending? Or would that rotation spot be after they meet the Reds?

    • Jim Walker

      I saw late yesterday that German agreed to 10 games with no appeal starting immediately.

  3. CI3J

    So what’s the timetable on Lodolo now?

    • ryan

      Tibial stress fractures are 4-12 weeks on average

  4. David

    Lodolo was going to be out a minimum of 4 weeks anyways. The description sounds like a stress fracture in his tibia.
    He will probably have to have some kind of soft cast, and rest it for 10 days to 2 weeks. See if it is healing. Stress fractures are tricky because they are not clean breaks and sometime slow to heal.

    Can Andrew Abbott be far away now??

    Two bright spots: Joe Boyle pitched well for Chattanooga last night. Maybe he’s back on the beam
    Brian Kennedy pitched well for the Riverbats last night. He is another ML cast-off that the Reds picked up for “depth” at AAA. If he looks decent after a few turns in the rotation….well, that’s where we are now. Hoping for marginal AAAA pitchers to support the Reds.

    • DaveCT

      Boyle walked 9 batters in 5 innings today. Reportedly the two hits he gave up were in self defense. Boyle’s not close at the moment.

      • Michael E

        Dave, I was laughing at that…extended belly laugh. Thanks for that pick me up.

        “Reportedly the two hits he gave up were in self defense.”

        Too funny (…and possibly true)

    • Tar Heel Red

      Joe Boyle “maybe he’s back on the beam?” When was he ever on it? He walked 9 in that game. That has been a constant problem for him all the way back to his college days.

    • RedBB

      Basically…guessing MRI showed increased signal but no obvious fracture line unless they are just sugarcoating it and not wanting to call it a fracture but its all the same spectrum. Guessing he gets a bone stimulator and maybe hyperbaric oxygen treatment too. Would be shocked to see him back before 8 weeks to be honest though as yes they can be tricky.

  5. Gary

    I sent this question in another thread sorry if you’ve already seen it or answered it.

    But I’m curious. Sunday afternoon’s game with the Yankees is scheduled at 11:35 AM.
    To my recollection this is the earliest starting time ever for a Reds’ home game, and for a Sunday especially.

    What is the reason for such an early start? The Reds are at GABP the next day vs St. Louis and the Yankees are OFF on Monday. Have I missed the reason for this early start?

    Thanks for your reply.

    • MLieb

      Sunday game is on PEACOCK as national game

    • Bdh

      I think that means they got the AppleTV game correct?

    • Kdavis

      It is an Apple TV game. I realize MLB is trying to broaden the platforms they broadcast on, I don’t like it.

      • JayTheRed

        Yea for some reason Apple TV games I can’t watch the game on MLB TV without having to signing into an Apple device. Hate that. Maybe I am missing something though.

      • Jim Walker

        @JTR>> My story is that I had an Apple account set up to work on my (Windows) PC from last season but for the most recent game wanted to use my iPad to watch. I use also Edge on the iPad for convenience with logons.

        However, when I tried to watch the game on iPad, I was forced by iOS to switch to the Apple TV app. The primary Apple account on the iPad was not the same one I use on the PC. It took 20 minutes to get that account logged out of the Apple TV app and get the account I use with Apple TV (on the PC) logged on.

  6. DHud

    Would think this would mean Williamson is probably around for a bit longer as well

    Greene-Ashcraft-Lively-Williamson-Weaver for awhile?

  7. Votto4life

    The Reds decision to go with 3 starters this season was down right foolish

    • Bdh

      A decision like that would have been foolish if that’s what they did but is not the case.

      Weaver was signed to start

      There was every expectation coming into spring for Williamson to win a spot and he did not at that time

      They also had Cessa who was serviceable the previous season, Overton who pitched well in his brief stint last year, Stoudt, Anderson (still upset he was given away) and Dunn

      There was also Gutierrez coming off injury mid season and the potential for both Abbott and Phillips

      I was very hopeful they’d try to bring back Cueto in the preseason but considering this was known to be a season they wanted to see what they had with all their young players and pitchers I don’t have too much of a problem with what they did. Any team with 9 40-man pitchers on the IL is going to have problems

      • Votto4life

        Nice try defending the indefensible. Anyone who follows the game knew coming into the season, the Reds did not have enough starting pitching. But, I’m sure little Phil approves your version of events.

      • Votto4life

        Coming into 2023, Hunter Greene had pitched 125 career innings, Nick Lodolo had 106 career innings pitched, Graham Ashcraft had 103 inning career innings pitched and Luis Cessa had 44 innings pitched as a starter.

        As I stated before, expecting those guys to cover all the starts this season was foolish (not to mention cheap), Luke Weaver not withstanding.

      • JayTheRed

        I’m with Votto4Life on this.
        The team clearly needed to sign a dependable starting pitcher. I am not talking about Weaver either. The guy does not have a good background. Miley was out there he was recovered from injury, though he probably didn’t want to come back to this mess in Cincy. Cueto would have been much better money spent in hindsight.

        I can see the argument that we potentially had enough starters but several of those were coming off injuries or mediocre production.

        Shame on them. If any other SP goes down this team is in big trouble. Oh, and after Ashcraft’s terrible start on Wednesday count me in as very worried.

      • Mario

        Votto has lost his cordiality but he is correct on this one. The Reds desperately needed to sign a reliable starting pitcher (Luke Weaver does not count) and they failed. Of course most of us wanted Cueto but that doesn’t seem to be such a bad miss after all. Pitchers are always hurt. I’ll be surprised if Greene and Ashcraft make it thru the season unscathed.

    • Tampa Red

      Yeah that actually didn’t happen, just lazy analysis. I live in the same town as the best team in baseball, have attended 3 games so far this season and follow them closely.

      The Rays don’t have any SP depth either, they’re one injury away from a bullpen day. Everyone takes a flier at the 4-5 spots. There are plenty of things to criticize about how the Reds are run and managed. Comments like this just distract from the real problems.

      • Votto4life

        It’s not about taking fliers for fourth or fifth starters, it was depending on the top three starters to cover most starts in 2023 when none of them exceeded 126 innings pitched last season. It was a foolish plan. To pretend otherwise, is a just a lazy attempt at justifying a terrible decision.

    • 2020ball

      The rotation was the clearest weakness and my biggest worry going into the year, particularly for its depth. Now especially it looks foolish once an injury comes up.

      • greenmtred

        Two things: 1). we know, because they have said so, that the Reds aren’t spending money this season. 2)we also know–or knew–that the Reds are not focused on winning this season. They’ve looked better at times than many of us expected and we’re fans, so we’re watching the standings and hoping. If nothing else, it’s easier to stay involved this way. But they were never going to spend enough to add a quality veteran pitcher and they are clearly hoping–as they have all along–that they can cobble a rotation together from in-house options.

  8. RedsGettingBetter

    Lodolo seems to be out for a long time so the Reds should review the pitching plan for the rest of the season… Abbott has a nice chance to make it to the majors nearly espcially if he keeps pitching solid at AAA…
    The Reds FO wants Williamson not to throw against NYY since they pushed back one spot in their rotation, they rather Lively to do that apparently…

    • Michael E

      We’re still in the middle of “super two” status games remaining this year. I think Abbott and ELDC and CES are all going be held out at least another 8-10 games to ensure they don’t qualify for super-two and accelerated arbitration in the future.

  9. capnhook33

    Likely you are not seeing Lodolo back until after the all star break. 4 weeks is already a really aggressive and optimistic timeline for tendinosis because it a degenerative condition and requires minimal movement and rest, as well as collagen rebuild to be healed. Usually that is 6-8 weeks min. Then coupled with stress reaction (mild fracture), in an area that doesn’t get a ton of blood flow so it typically heals slower, and you are likely looking at mid july before he’s really getting into a rehab assignment.

  10. Eddiek957

    I know I said this before we should use an opener for a couple of spots in the rotation. It’s like Bell finds something that actually works and he stops using it.

    • Rob

      That doesn’t work when your main starters can’t give you 6 innings. This starting pitching situation was a known from Day 1. 3 young pitchers and a bunch of hope to bes….Overton, Cessa, Williamson, Staudt, Dunn, Anderson, Lively, etc. on top of that, no Miley, Castillo, Mahle, or Minor. Although I did not expect this baloney from the 3 young pitchers, it was still a house built with twigs. And to think none of the big 3 would have a month or so of injuries is not smart and close to fantasy. If we don’t start getting 6+ inning starts the majority of the time, we are going to be in trouble sooner rather than later. But this situation is totally on management.

      The other thing I said to myself today was Kris Bryant. Pretty perfect fit for the Reds. And Colorado is a bottom feeder in a strong Division. Seemingly, they would certainly move him. Yeah, yeah, I know he costs but we are going to need free agent additions next year and we are going to have money to spend. Bryant at GABP sounds good to me. Probably 65 HRs. Give Colorado a couple of our top 2025 prospects and let’s roll.

      • Votto4life

        “Colorado is a bottom feeder” the Reds are exactly 1/2 game better than the Rockies.

      • Tom Diesman

        The 2023 MLB average IP/GS is 5.2 and the Reds are next to last at 4.7. The best team in MLB is at 5.7. The 6+ IP/GS has sadly become an exception in todays game and every day is now pretty much a bullpen day.

  11. Jim Walker

    It might be time to take and make a trade (or 2). If so, the Reds will have to give value to get value. If the organization believes Noelvi Marte and CES are both keepers and MLB ready by the end of 2024, the most valuable pieces the Reds have who could be out of a position to play by the end of 2024 are probably Nick Senzel and Spencer Steer (pause for groans). Or if the Reds want to go truly nuclear, that would put Jonathan India in play (ducking the shoes flying at me). The one place I absolutely would NOT go is of course EDLC.

    • Rob

      No question about the give and take. First thing they would have to do is decide Bryant is the type we need. Can play any OF position. Second is the decision of when to dive into the deep end of the free agent pond. I think it is now. Third is what 2 pieces would it take to put a smile on Colorados face.

      • Mario

        Kris Bryant is getting paid a lot of money and has had numerous injury issues particularly with his back. I thought it was a massive overpay by the Rockies. IMO, he has nice batting average but hasn’t come close to earning those kind of $$ yet.

      • Mario

        Just looked him up, Bryant is making an average of 26 million per season until 2028. He turns 32 in January. He also has a no trade clause. With that contract, even if Bryant waives the no trade clause, the Rockies will have a difficult time giving him away.

      • Michael E

        Bryant hasn’t been good in years. Why is there still an infatuation with him? His rookie seasons studliness should have worn off by now.

        I was shaking my head when Colorado signed him. I thought, just the Rockies doing dumb Rockie things. One of the few franchises run worse than the Reds. Paying big money for a depreciating asset is beyond stupid and yet that is what the Rockies did.

        Unless we trade a water bottle and Rockies pick up 80% of his remaining salary, NO THANKS. He is basically a 750 or 700 OPS player now…in other words, mediocre on his BEST days.

    • BK

      I would stick with the rebuild–we’re ahead of schedule. We must learn from former rebuilds and not short-circuit this one.

    • greenmtred

      Jim: I agree that at some point the Reds will need to trade from an area of strength to shore up an area of weakness. Unless, of course, they become willing to spend in free-agency. But don’t you think it would be wise to wait long enough to get a sense of whether the untouchable prospects are going to live up to their promise at the MLB level?

      • Jim Walker

        I do not think time is necessarily a friend to the process the Reds face in turning 6 SS prospects into a solid core group of MLB players. Most of these guys were so far down the development ladder and pegged with such high ceilings, their value is likely to drop rather than increase over time.

        Let’s take Edwin Arroyo as an example. He is the guy a lot of folks saw as the eventual “real” shortstop in the group. When he came to the Reds organization at the 2022 trade deadline he had an .899 OPS (410PA) in the Class A California league as an 18 year old player.

        However, with the Reds org at Daytona (same class), his OPS was only .684 in 109 PAs at the backend of 2022. Nonetheless, the Reds pushed him on up to Class A+ (Dayton) for 2023. To date, his OPS with the Dragons is .565 in about 115 PAs. The Kid is 20 y.o., 3+ years younger than the average age in his league, and still could come around. Regardless he certainly must be less regarded than when the Reds obtained him.

        In one sense no one is an untouchable because just as it only takes 1 team with a crazy offer to tilt a free agent market. it only takes one team willing to grossly over pay to make a guy even like EDLC available. Not that the Reds are going to shop EDLC anytime soon. Nonetheless, if someone calls and makes a serious offer that’s a little a bit of an overpay for him then the Reds might ask for all of that PLUS a little more and if the other side says yes…… As always the devil is in the details.

      • old-school

        I think the Reds will have to make trades this off-season that will help in the short and medium term to fill in holes. I would anticipate they draft a top college arm at #7 in the draft. Some low market franchises start to sell/trade prospects who get too expensive. Braves seized on Sean Murphy catcher and got an AS and extended him. Marlins got AJ Puk in their bullpen as his arb clock started.. Rays roster is full of guys who were traded for, including 2 of the top OPS hitters in MLB in Arozareno ( glad Cardinals blew that one) and Yandy Diaz( guardians) . Reds could also find pitching at the deadline if its helps for years to come( Sonny gray trade from Yankees was a good one). Another option is trade an elite maturing IF prospect for an elite maturing outfield prospect and lastly trading India could yield a good SP. Luis Arraez is leading MLB in hitting and was traded for PAblo Lopez who is a front of the rotation starter for the Twins. Cant miss if you trade India however. Hes a great leadoff hitter.

        But Jim makes a good point on aligning things as some prospects are still far away, some wont develop and the arbitration clock starts to tick for others.

      • Jim Walker

        OS> I see the two virtually untouchables (position side) the Reds have as EDLC and Cam Collier, even though Collier is well down the development line. Either one or both of them could be generational talents.

        Noelvi Marte and CES are just under them as guys who are far enough along to look like true impact players at MLB. McLain might fit in here too. We will find out in the next couple of months.

        As far as position guys on the MLB roster, I do not see any near untouchables. Guys like India, Stephenson, Fraley and Friedl need to bring full value or better at a position of need (including starting pitching) but are replaceable.

      • greenmtred

        Good thoughts, Jim. I was specifically thinking of EDLC in my original comment: after all we’ve heard about him it would be shocking if he didn’t turn out to be–at least–a good MLB player, but stranger things have happened. I would think that the Reds might want to retain, instead of trade–some promising insurance until we know. But your point is well-taken. I wish that they’d spend some money.

  12. wolfcycle

    but Bryant does not solve our pitching problem. Arroyo and India with maybe Rece Hinds to White sox for Kopech and Luis Robert. They are going to move on from Tim Anderson and have a highly rated ss but he will eventually have to move to third, Arroyo will slide right in. Hinds is gonna be solid but hopefully we build up to better. Hopefully McClain accepts 2nd base and when ELDC comes up you have those 2 up the middle, hopefully Marte continues to develop and takes over third base. Steer at first. Fraley, Friedl, and Roberts in the outfield. DH best available wether that be ces or someone else, of course stephenson at catcher. Kopech, Green, Lodolo, Ashcraft, and another veteran free agent as starting 5 on mound.