The Cincinnati Reds sent left-handed pitcher Nick Lodolo out on a rehab assignment on Friday night. Lodolo, who hasn’t pitched in a game since the first week of May due to calf tendinosis and then later it was found that he also had a stress reaction in the same leg, took the mound for the Arizona Complex League Reds.

While the complex league is the lowest level of the minor leagues in the United States and the average age of the position player in the league is 19.8-years-old, Nick Lodolo  did what you want to see. The lefty starter threw 2.0 shutout innings and allowed just one hit – a single – while walking no one and striking out four of the seven hitters that he faced. He also picked up two ground outs in the first inning (he struck out three batters in the 2nd inning).

With the amount of time he missed, Lodolo’s return is still likely several weeks away. He will need to build up his pitch count and innings workload before he can return to the big leagues. Lodolo can spend up to 30 days on his rehab assignment before the club must make a decision to either recall him to the big leagues or place him back on the injured list.

Cincinnati also had catcher Curt Casali go out on a rehab stint, but he headed to Minnesota to join the Triple-A Louisville Bats for his assignment. He’s missed the last three weeks with a foot contusion. In his first two at-bats he flew out to center and grounded out to shortstop. But in his third at-bat last night he singled up the middle. He would finish the day 1-3. As a position player he can only remain on a rehab assignment for 20 days. Given that he’s only been out for a few weeks he probably will not need the full time frame to be ready to return as long as everything goes well.

23 Responses

  1. Mark Moore

    This is very encouraging. If not for 2023, then for 2024 and beyond.

    • Optimist

      Long relief for 2023? Take all winter to continue rehab, build pitch count.

  2. Tim

    With Ty Steve not panning out as a 1B or DH I don’t see any point in three catchers. Curious what the Redleg Nation sees happening with Casali coming off the IL

    • Jimbo44CN

      DFA him and bring up Chuckie if they insist on 3 catchers. He deserves another shot with the season hes having.

      • Oldtimer

        Nah. Casali is MLB C. Robinson is AAA C.

      • Mac624

        That’s the short sighted approach. If you do that then someone gets hurt, you have no depth. Best to keep as is until the Reds are eliminated. Robinson is a great depth piece in an emergency. In a playoff race, you Hatton have depth this late in the season.

    • Harry Stoner

      Yeah, I understood that experiment when first devised, but agree it hasn’t played out as hoped trying to get TS bat in the lineup regularly.

      He hasn’t hit well and his defensive shortcomings have been magnified.

      A fair # of RLN posters downplayed the severity of his injury. Hopefully he’s on a longer trajectory of recovery and 2024 will be back to the hitter he once was.

      Reds don’t need a replay of Mesoraco.

      I don’t know how real the Hunter Greene + Casali battery magic really is.

      If it helps get HG ready and comfortable and productive it would be worth it.

      Ashcraft, Williamson and Abbott seem to be doing fine with Maile.

      3 catchers is one too many, but do they really need TJ #2, Ramos and Fairchild?

      India likely will be out for some time, so the wiggle room might be there when Casali is road worthy.

      Why not sync him and Greene up in their rehab starts and see if the chemistry is still there and worth keeping?

      Are the Reds capable of such forethought?

      • MK

        The Ty Steve plan and 3 catchers might have a lot to do with the subpar offense. Catchers are accustomed to having their head in the game on every pitch. No time to over think their offensive successes and failures. As a DH all you have to think about is offense and to a lesser degree first base. He could start overthinking his offense, a new experience for him. Failure building on failure.

  3. JB WV

    Arguably the biggest loss of the season. A healthy Lodolo adds 5-6 wins at least during the 3-4 months he’s been out. Also saves an overworked bullpen.

    • Harry Stoner

      3 dependable LHs in the rotation?

      Look out!

      • JB WV

        Would be great. Williamson has obviously progressed. Good test today with Pitt seeing back to back lefties

  4. LDS

    RLN pundits always seem to give up on players too soon and stick with others far past their expiration date. Votto for instance is well past his expiration date. Tyler Stephenson, on the other hand, is coming back from injury and surgery. Expecting him to perform this year as he did before the injury strikes me as wishful thinking. Hopefully, he does. But DFA Stephenson? Strikes me as short sighted. BTW, Barrero suffered the safe fate and maybe the answer on Stephenson is to send him to Louisville for a refresher where he plays everyday. Bell’s mix and match strategy is not conducive to player rehab and development.

    • Pete

      Votto is basically a right hand Rob Deer at this point. There is value there but he really is bad fit for this team. He is your basic 3 outcome hitter: SO, BB or HR. The sabrmetric guys like it but I find this type of player boring and I love the guy. Only one more season to go.

      FYI, Pirates are using RHP reliever as an opener tonight. Trotting out the same lineup wouldn’t bother me one bit.

    • MBS

      @LDS, I think the above “DFA him” comment was about Casali. I haven’t seen anyone say that about Stephenson. I really liked the pre injured Stephenson, and I think that’s the one we’ll see in 24, but if he has another poor season, then it would be time to worry. Lets face it, Stephenson is not a defensive C, his appeal has always been his bat.

      • BK

        Parse Stephenson’s defensive stats any way you like … he’s league average. That said, I agree his calling card is his bat, and his hitting must improve. If he’s just an average catcher with the glove and bat, then catcher becomes a position the Reds will always look to improve.

      • Pete

        Cade Hunter looks pretty impressive to me. Seems like for a youngster he has a good idea of the strike stone, a little pop in the bat, and all in all pretty smart young player. Someone to keep an eye on. Also, being a left-handed hitter certainly doesn’t hurt.

        I do agree with those that think it’s way too early to give up on Tyler Stevenson. I expect he will come back more to normal next season. Poor fellow took a lot of balls off the noggin.

      • Jimbo44CN

        That is exactly correct. What i said and meant was DFA Casali. Easy there LDS.

  5. Tim

    Seems like TySteve and Maile will be splitting time behind the plate. Ramas and Votto likely splitting DH as well as playing in the field. It would seem advantageous to play Votto and Ramos together most games and to hit back to back with one on the left and one on the right. If Ramos pans out I love what this does for the lineup

  6. Jason Franklin

    Will Doug be doing anything on John Fay?

  7. Jim Walker

    We have a Reds Lineup for Saturday:

    SP: Brandon Williamson
    1. T.J. Friedl (CF)
    2. Matt McLain (2B)
    3. Elly De La Cruz (SS)
    4. Spencer Steer (3B)
    5. Joey Votto (1B)
    6. Tyler Stephenson (C)
    7. Henry Ramos (DH)
    8. Will Benson (RF)
    9. Stuart Fairchild (LF)

    Ramos in at DH is probably a result of CES being struck in the hand/wrist area by a pitch Friday night. Reports were that Xrays of the afflicted area were “negative” for damage. Hopefully, Ramos will do well tonight but CES will not be out long as there were signs he was beginning to get dialed in.

    • MBS

      I think Ramos is kind of a natural fit at DH. Obviously he shouldn’t take playing time away from CES. That being said if Ramos hits for us this time around, maybe being the DH for the Reds could become his everyday role in 24.

  8. Jason Franklin

    Is Hopkins on the team? Did I miss him being sent down? Does he still exist according to the genius Bell?

    • Tampa Red

      I mean, he had an AB last night. Hopkins and the 32 year old journeyman Ramos are not the answer to any Reds 2024 question. Or 2023 for that matter. Why play them?