Reds Hope Lefthander Nick Lodolo Has A Healthy 2022
The 2021 season for Nick Lodolo was one that featured both good and bad aspects.
On the mound, Lodolo dominated, but he missed nearly two months while on the injured list.
The lefthander made 13 starts and posted a 2.31 ERA between Double-A Chattanooga, where he made 10 starts, and Triple-A Louisville, where he made three starts. Along with the low ERA, he walked just 11 batters and struck out 78 in his 50.2 innings.
A blister issue first popped up for the 24-year-old on May 30 when he exited a start early. He made only one start over the next five weeks before returning in early July in limited action.
“As soon as we had him throwing the major league balls in his bullpens those blisters resolved themselves pretty quickly,” Reds vice president of player development Shawn Pender said. “He was having some problems with the minor league ball, and that’s not unusual. It can cause some issues.”
Indirectly, the blisters led to a shoulder strain that saw the 6-foot-6, 205-pound Lodolo shut down for the final month of the season.
“We fouled up in the sense that when he did have the blisters and we were bringing him back, he didn’t get built up enough to take on the workload that he was asked to take on when he came back,” Pender said.
“Instead of bringing him back for an inning or two innings, he got jump-started a little bit too hard, too quick, and as a result came up with some shoulder issues.”
The offseason plan for the 2019 first-rounder from Texas Christian was quite simple and had a limited focus.
“The primary thing was to get back healthy and get strengthened up for 2022,” Pender said. “The idea was to get built back up and continue his strength and conditioning process."
Cincinnati extended a non-roster invite to big league camp to Lodolo in January. Remaining healthy is always the goal, but usin his changeup more often could help get Lodolo a look for what appears to be an open spot in the rotation.