The Cincinnati Reds have officially sent left-handed starting pitcher Nick Lodolo to the minor leagues today. He will begin a rehab assignment this afternoon for the Triple-A Louisville Bats as they take on the Indianapolis Indians at 1:05pm ET.

This isn’t much of a surprise – the Reds plan, as they’ve stated it publicly, has been to get Lodolo two starts in the minor leagues and have him back in Cincinnati on April 10th as long as his rehab stint goes as hoped. If that’s the case, it would make it just over 11 months since the lefty has taken the mound in a big league game.

His final outing in 2023 came on May 6th against the White Sox. After that game he was placed on the injured list with what was at first described as a calf injury, but it was later found to be a stress reaction in his leg. After several months on the injured list he attempted to return to the mound and began a rehab assignment in mid-August. He made three starts – one in rookie ball, one in Double-A, and then one in Triple-A. But that Triple-A start was cut short after 2.1 innings and 61 pitches. Following that outing he was placed back on the injured list with another stress reaction in his leg.

Nick Lodolo didn’t return to the mound after that. And the injury kept him from having the normal offseason and he got out to a later start in spring training because of it. He only had the opportunity to make two starts before camp came to an end, resulting in the need for him to continue to build up innings so he could take the mound in the regular season. All of that will begin today.

If and when he returns to the big leagues, it’s still a bit unclear where he would fit into the rotation. Nick Martinez, who has split time between starting and relieving since he returned to the US a few years ago after spending time pitching in Japan, lines up from a schedule standpoint with Lodolo and could be the guy that gets bumped to the bullpen. But the Reds have been quiet on that front, which isn’t unexpected, because you never know what will happen before that point and things could change.

3 Responses

  1. LDS

    Hope it goes well. The Reds badly need a healthy and effective Lodolo. If he’s healthy, I’m expecting more from him than Greene or the rest. Of course, maybe he’s as fragile as Senzel. Let’s hope not.

  2. Mauired

    If Diaz continues to look gassed, is it a good move to install Martinez as closer for awhile when/if Lodolo bumps him from rotation?

    • Doc

      Might be better to move Greene to closer role, Diaz to Louisville and Lodolo in rotation along with leaving Martinez there. Of course, I assume the goal is to win games.