A week ago Cincinnati Reds VP of Player Development Shawn Pender joined Jim Day on Fox Sports Ohio during the broadcast of one of the spring training games for a full inning where he talked about the farm system and many of the prospects. One thing he mentioned was that the plan wasn’t to have Nick Lodolo pitch in big league camp. But perhaps there was a little bit lost in translation, too, because according to the Cincinnati Reds game notes today, the left-handed pitcher is scheduled to pitch at home on Tuesday in Goodyear as the Reds host the Arizona Diamondbacks (they also play on the road against Colorado in a set of split-squad games).
It will be the first game that Nick Lodolo pitches in this spring, but he’s been doing normal work off of the field during games. The left-handed pitcher was very impressive in live batting practice the other day. Nick Senzel, Derek Dietrich, and Jose Garcia all went hitless against the lefty on the day. His stuff was so impressive that Senzel said “put him in the rotation”.
Minor League pitchers and catchers have only been in Goodyear for a week – so for Nick Lodolo, he’s on the schedule that those guys are when it comes to getting ready for the start of the season in the minors, which won’t begin until April 9th. The season beginning two weeks later than the big league one is why the left-hander was being held back from throwing in games – to keep him in line with the regular season.
In 2019 after posting a 2.36 ERA with TCU, the Reds made him the first pitcher selected in the draft by taking him with the 7th overall pick. With 103.0 innings already thrown in college, Cincinnati took it easy on the 6′ 6″ lefty and limited him to just 18.1 innings over eight starts between the Billings Mustangs and Dayton Dragons. While the action he saw was limited, he was dominant when on the mound. He allowed just five earned runs (2.45 ERA) while walking no one and striking out 30 batters. He’s expected to move up and begin his 2020 season with the Advanced-A Daytona Tortugas this year.