Nick Lodolo threw a bullpen session on Sunday. His previous throwing session went well on the day he threw it, but the following day he didn’t recover quite as well as he and the club had hoped. Following the bullpen on Sunday, he was set to see a specialist for his leg on Monday. Lodolo, who missed most of 2023 with a stress reaction/fracture in his tibia, was still dealing with some sort of issues after he would throw.

While there wasn’t a specific update on what he was told following that check in with the specialist, Lodolo was back on the mound on Wednesday afternoon in Goodyear. He threw two simulated innings against Jonathan India and Matt McLain and afterwards he told Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer that his next step was to pitch in a game, and that he was “good” and he was “excited.

After last week’s live session Lodolo told the media that he thought he could be ready to begin the season on time, even though he may be a week behind them when it comes to how built up he is for the season. It doesn’t seem that he’s missed any bullpens in that time, but he threw two innings a week ago, and he did the same thing today. That may put him a bit further behind in terms of building up than he expected when he last threw a live session. If he increases by an inning/15ish pitches each time out moving forward, it would look something like this:

  • March 11: 3 innings/45 pitches
  • March 16: 4 innings/60 pitches
  • March 21: 5 innings/75 pitches
  • Regular season begins.

There are some assumptions on my part there that he’d pitch three innings out of the gate in his spring game debut, but if he’s throwing two innings in lives then it may not be a huge assumption. It’s possible that there is still a path for Nick Lodolo to be ready to join the rotation to begin the regular season as long as there are no hiccups at all along the way.

25 Responses

  1. Melvin

    If he someone does make it to opening day that would be amazing at this point. Hope so.

  2. Redsvol

    This seems like great news but I’m going to have to see the progression before getting too excited. Seems they should be super cautious and ramp him up super slow. Give him 4 weeks in Louisville to show he can go every 5th day rather than disrupt the majors with another DL stint.

    The way Louisville’s schedule sets up, he could actually pitch 5 times at the home ball park in March and April and not even have to travel with the team any. No rush at all. Pennants aren’t won in April. We need him in September and October.

  3. LDS

    The Reds need Lodolo healthy and starting every 5th day. Pitching, though deep, seems thin.

    • Jimbo44CN

      How can the pitching be both deep and thin at the same time? Do you mean that even though it seems we have a lot of good arms they are not going to hold up?

      • greenmtred

        I get what he means: plenty of pitchers, but health and experience questions about most of them.

      • AMDG

        Deep, but thin?

        Wouldn’t that be like ordering a thin crust deep dish pizza? 😉

      • Amarillo

        So filling, delicious, and full of toppings, but with the possibility of being messy and falling apart.

        I guess that isn’t a completely off comparison.

  4. CI3J

    I’d be fine with Lodolo staying in extended Spring Training and letting Williamson pitch the first two times through the rotation, then see where things are after that.

    This is where pitching depth really comes into play. Williamson is a perfectly capable fill-in, and would probably be in the rotation in a lot of teams. But for the Reds, he’s a placeholder for an (ostensibly) even better pitcher.

    • Melvin

      Sounds good but what would happen if Williamson pitched really well and everyone else stayed healthy? Would they take Williamson out of the rotation? It would be interesting.

      • AllTheHype

        That would be a wonderful *problem* to have.

      • TR

        Williamson is in the starting core and then he’s not. We will see. For me, he’s a sleeper and a good addition to the pitching staff.

  5. Rut

    Given that Lodolo would not be able to pitch a full season innings-wise anyway (capped at 150 or 160 innings, probably even less), just do not see any reason to rush him just so it can be said he was ready by “Opening Day”.

    Will be plenty of innings for Nick all season long, my biggest hope is that he can finish the season healthy regardless of when he starts it.

    • AllTheHype

      Yup, with the rest of the starters healthy (so far), if that continues, baby steps is the right course.

    • Old Big Ed

      I agree. I think he’s more likely capped at 110-120 innings. They may as well take their time with him.

  6. AllTheHype

    I think with the Reds depth, he may not need to pitch until the second week of the season, giving him at least another simulated start in there somewhere.

    I’ll bet they start him off at 2 innings and not 3, just because game innings are more intense than simulated ones.

  7. ekureds

    Is it true that the Reds gain an extra year of control if Lodolo starts in AAA for a few weeks? If so I think it’s a no doubter that he should make sure he is 100% good to go (and also for the extra year of control hehe). I know the Reds haven’t played around the whole service time thing a lot but I think this would be a great time to.

  8. LarkinPhillips

    With his likely innings cap and his injury history, I would prefer him to be used in an ‘Andrew Miller’ type of role. Have him pitch twice a week for 2-3 innings each time. Make the appearances higher leverage situations. This would keep the bullpen fresher and hopefully keep him healthy for an entire year while maximizing his ability in high leverage spots.

    I know this isn’t going to happen, but think it would be a cool idea.

  9. MK

    I would rather have Williamson to start the season and Lodolo completely built up at a normal pace and healthy at the beginning of May.

    • Jason Franklin

      I don’t see the reason why Williamson shouldn’t be given the chance to start in the rotation for at least a month or more until Lodolo is healthy. Plus, he has earned the chance when looking at last year and so far in spring training. I wouldn’t be surprised if Williamson goes the whole year in the rotation.

    • DaveCT

      One thing I wonder is if Lodolo is the better college either and Williamson the better pro. TCU message boards, let’s hear it.

  10. Mike in Ottawa

    Could Lodolo/Williamson be used in a tandem system? One starts and the other follows him in the game….Expectation the starter goes 5 or 6, the other 2-3 innings. Then alternate the starter in a 2 on, 2 off system. Or something like that???

    Would something like that work? We all know Bell hates his starters going more than 5ip…lol

  11. Optimist

    Ben Lively may be available as rosters are cut to 26, but the Reds really will likely have better opportunities to pick up another starter as the DFAs roll in.

  12. Buffalo Red

    I realize those closer to the situation see and know more than I, but as a fan I wonder about some of the snap decisions made about players that seem based on either very little or nothing at all. Williamson, along with Ashcraft, was one of the more consistently good pitchers during the second half of the season last year–a really pleasant surprise, I thought–and yet now he’s only marginally a rotation candidate? I mean, for a couple months, Williamson was an automatic five or six innings. So why is he now almost off the radar?