Yesterday we seemed to get some good news on the Nick Lodolo front. The lefty faced batters in a live batting practice session and he felt good during and after. But he did note that he would have to see how things felt tomorrow. Well, tomorrow is now today, and the news wasn’t the greatest.

David Bell, while speaking to the media (first reported by Gordon Wittenmyer of the Cincinnati Enquirer), said that Lodolo’s recovery from yesterday was “not perfect” and that he “still feels it”. He also noted that he was going to be re-evaluated and has his leg re-scanned. Then Bell said it was “no major concern”. Charlie Goldsmith, also from the Cincinnati Enquirer has a few more specifics from Bell.

I’m not a doctor, and I haven’t even stayed at a Holiday Inn Express recently, but given that Nick Lodolo first began to experience pain in his leg that turned out to be a stress reaction and or a stress fracture in his tibia (it’s been reported as both) in April of last season and we’re now 11 months from then and he’s still “feeling it”, it sounds like something that I personally would not label as a “major concern”.

As a non-doctor I should also say that I wouldn’t label it as a major concern at this point, either. Lodolo has been checked out by actual doctors and they felt he was clear to progress to live batting practice. But still, it’s been 11-ish months…. there should be at least *some* concern.

The injury did limit some of what he was able to do in the offseason to prepare. He noted that several times during interviews throughout the winter and early in the spring. It’s possible that whatever he’s feeling is simply a result of him not quite being able to have a normal preparation in the offseason and he needs to keep building things up. That “re-scanning” of his leg should probably tell us something more definitive.

With all of that said, if Lodolo has any sort of setback – even a very short one – it makes it almost impossible for him to be ready to begin the season with the Reds. As a starter he needs enough outings to build up his workload and in a safe manner. There are only four weeks left until the season begins and he’s yet to pitch in a game.

34 Responses

  1. LDS

    Not good news. Hopefully, everything is good. Lodolo could be top of the rotation for the Reds if he could stay healthy.

  2. Optimist

    I’m thinking this is a “major” concern, and really the first of the pre-season for them. Still, only a concern at this point, not like some of the announcements coming from other teams confirming weeks or months of delays, but still, major.

    If they go another few days with nothing to say about India, McLain, Marte, or Dunn (I think those are the only others mentioned in the past month) they’ll be doing well.

  3. MK

    Doesn’t it make you wonder about the medical treatments of the team. McLean suffering with a relapse of his injury which points to that he wasn’t completely healed and Lodolo who though he was healed isn’t. It is one thing to have new injuries. Quite another to not heal from old ones.

    • Kevin Patrick

      The question of whom to indict on charges of dereliction of duty are complicated. These things could be what you suggest…or it could be the prevalence of a new kind of artificial turf that created long term injuries…it could be the new additives in tombstone pizzas…maybe the scouts who keep on picking players who hide their injuries…I’m trying to be clever of course (sorry) but I guess we’re all pretty disappointed hearing about things we reeaaallly hoped were in the rear view mirror. Its entirely plausible to me the Reds knew ahead of time from their health evaluators the likelihood of these various injuries generally getting in the way of certainty for this year. They probably also factored those concerns when they were making off season moves and roster choices favoring to address depth. Pure speculation on my part…

    • oklared

      Sometimes injuries just don’t heal as expected. I heard it referred to as piss poor protoplasm.

    • Doc

      It was reported that McClain’s recent ‘injury’ was in a different location. That would not be a relapse, it would be a new injury.

      I find India’s and Lodolo’s worrisome. I have commented before in wonderment that the Reds medical/training staff can’t seem to get people well.

      • doofus

        I think it is safe to say that many MLB teams have ongoing/recurring injuries also. I do not think it is just dthe Reds that experience these problems.

    • greenmtred

      Injuries don’t automatically heal just because you’ve had treatment. They particularly don’t automatically heal in a convenient time frame.

    • mac624

      As a first responder that goes to multiple types of medical calls on a weekly basis, I can assure you that people heal differently, and that includes very fit people as well. Not everyone “bounces back” as they are supposed to. Sure this injury could be career threatening, but he may just need more time or his nerves may simply be feeling something that doesn’t exist as well. The scan will tell the tail. Hopefully he can recover from it, but if not, that’s sports for you. The rigors of sports from such a young age, I think plays into injuries as well now. Many kids are playing travel ball schedules and regular season schedules starting at the age of 4 or 5 now. By the time they are professionals, even the fittest bodies need a break sometimes. Hopefully that’s not the case with Lodolo, but if it is, it’s good that the Reds signed depth.

  4. DaveCT

    I would add that Nick’s health has been a major concern since he turned pro.

    I’m not going to keep repeating things as nauseum, but I will say this. Nick has yet to demonstrate he can handle pitching every fifth day in full season ball. With three seasons of college and three seasons of full season pro ball, he’s pitched more than 100 innings twice.

    To me, Nick’s development centers on building innings this year and demonstrating he can handle a fulltime starter’s workload.

    If this sounds familiar, this is similar to what was being said about Nick Senzel going into the 2022 season — to show he can stay healthy for a full year.

    This does not mean Nick (Lodolo) cannot contribute, or that he will not develop. There are endless stories of guys taking lengthy amounts of time to adjust from high school and college ball to pro ball. And many do, in fact, adjust and have productive careers.

    What this means to me is that anything we get from Nick this year will be a bonus. Building innings, getting healthier, becoming more durable, be it at AAA or the ML’s, are all worthy things.

    Now. Please do not push Rhett Lowder too quickly.

    • MBS

      @Dave, yes to all of that, and especially “Now. Please do not push Rhett Lowder too quickly.”

  5. RedsGettingBetter

    I think if Lodolo feels he is not healthy yet after the BP he did yesterday that should be concerning definitely. The pitching is hurting him. It seems to be a very complex issue. Lodolo is on track to start in IL when OD arrives…
    Williamson or Martínez should be taking the spot. I’d rather Williamson so Martínez can help a lot from the bullpen.

  6. Old-school

    Why depth is important

    Pitchers always get hurt

    Frankie Montas and Nick Martinez fabulous signings

    Lodolo can use AAA as extended ST and no rush to health. Williamson ready as well

  7. Reddawgs2012

    If Lodolo still isn’t healthy after an entire offseason…that just does not seem like a good sign moving forward.

    • Jeffrey A Yocum

      Yea, this has underpinnings of a degenerative, structural issue. It may be comparing apples to oranges, but after witnessing the premature end of the careers of Bo Jackson & Sam Bowie due to structural, stress related injuries, I’m a lot more than slightly concerned. Team officials tend to downplay injuries as long as they can. How many times have we seen forearm tightness turn out to be TJS.

  8. Old-school

    Cowboy did radio interview this evening and blown away by Montas

    Said best thing you can say about him is zero sign he ever had injury

    Hitting 97 mph and throwing great with a splitter

    Greene and Montas and Ashcraft could give Reds 3 power righties

    Abbott and Williamson still ready as lefties and martinez can do whatever is needed.

  9. DaveCT

    With Williamson starting today, and Greene in the slot to start opening day, I’d say the rotation shakes out as this:

    Green
    Abbott
    Montas
    Ashcraft
    Williamson.

    At AAA:

    Lodolo (building innings)
    Phillips
    Richardson
    Spiers
    Roa

  10. Jason Franklin

    Just sign Blake Snell on a TWo YeAR deAl WiTh aN Opt oUT aFteR tHe fIRst. Give him dumb money and promise to trade him if the team is stinky at the deadline. Or don’t. Anyway, what about Lorenzen?

    • Doc

      What about giving the guys we have a chance? Maybe spread some of that money around to keep a few of them around.

  11. Melvin

    ” Then Bell said it was “no major concern”.”

    Now why am I not confident about that statement?

    • DataDumpster

      I don’t think “a major concern” is even within Bell’s vocabulary. Lodolo will go down to AAA, when he returns nobody knows. However, I would say that it should be no major concern for the pitching staff given the nice acquisitions Krall pulled off.

  12. Melvin

    This is another example as to why I don’t like to sign players to extensions until they’ve proven they can stay off the IL consistently for a season or two. It doesn’t matter how much raw talent they have.

    • Redsvol

      With pitchers, I absolutely agree.

      With hitters, I say sign them all. If you wait until a hitter has 2 or 3 good years in the major leagues, you won’t get any discount from the player. See Bobby Witt. If you can’t get a discount then I’m not sure it’s worth the extension rather than just going to arbitration every year and trading the player in years 5 or 6 of control.

      The time to extend is when both sides have some risk.

  13. CI3J

    If he’s still “feeling it”, and has supposedly been shut down for 6 months, that tells me whatever they had him doing during those 6 months was not conducive to him fully healing.

    A stress fracture/reaction does not need 6 months to heal if treated properly. Most heal in a month or two, three months at the absolute max, IF you let them. It seems to me the training staff and/or Lodolo have not allowed his injury to fully heal, and that’s why we’re still dealing with it a year later.

    Can someone just strap Lodolo to a bed, Misery style, and just keep him off that leg for 8 weeks?

  14. Still a Red

    Well we don’t know that he was doing anything to aggravate his healing. He looks a little gangly to me and just may have an inherent structural weakness. If so, he may be done. Also as alluded to above he may be ‘feeling’ something that isn’t really there. That happens.

  15. Capnhook33

    It could be a mental thing sure, but the reds in the pro baseball community have long had a rep as having a joke of a strength and medical staff. I’m not sure what changes, if any have been made, but given the extreme cost-consciousness of leadership I’m not holding my breath they have the best and the brightest on board.

  16. Frogem

    Reds may start considering Lodolo as a BP/closer type. Perhaps that will more ideally align his physical makeup with a position that doesn’t demand as much physically. His talent is undeniable, and he could be a wipe out late inning relief pitcher/closer. The value of those types is obvious when you see the recent contracts of the top closers, which Lodolo could very well track to become.

  17. DHud

    Typical for the reds and rest of baseball to down play this sort of thing – obviously they’re not gonna come out with a statement saying “oh we’re screwed here”

    But for us peasant people…where there’s smoke there’s fire IMO. This is danger, will Robinson, danger!

  18. jj

    It’s disturbing to see all these young individuals with injuries,Reds need better off season training instead of ramping up just at spring training, go thing the team stacked up pitching and infielders,hopefully this isn’t a precursor to an injury plagued season again….182 games is a long season

    • greenmtred

      I don’t know whether the Reds’ off-season conditioning programs are good or not. I don’t know whether their medical staff is good or not. And I don’t know that they are suffering an unusual number of injuries this spring. Baseball players get hurt, regardless of which uniform they wear.

  19. Jeremiah

    Not sure it’d be beneficial to his career and health right now, but maybe Lodolo does need to consider being a bullpen guy more than a starter. He could be a weapon in the pen much like that lefty a few years ago who pitched for St. Louis, Cleveland etc.? I can’t remember his name. These injuries with Lodolo, India and McClain are concerning though…the depth they’ve added probably will really be a key as to how good they can be.