There was already talk of Nick Lodolo making a September call-up in 2020. Last year’s first-round pick should be part of the Cincinnati Reds taxi squad.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post is reporting that Major League Baseball’s proposal to the players includes a 30-man roster with a 50-man taxi squad. Last year’s first-round pick Nick Lodolo should most certainly be in contention for a spot on the Cincinnati Reds taxi squad.
This shouldn’t even be up for debate, but I’m sure that some Reds fans are questioning my sanity as I write this. “You want last year’s first-rounder to be eligible to play in 2020?” You bet I do. Given the circumstances likely to surround the upcoming season, there’s no better way to acclimate the youngster to life in the big leagues.
Before we get too deep into this subject, let’s discuss what the taxi squad is. In essence, a taxi squad is a group of substitute players that shuffle between thee minor leagues and major leagues based on the short-term needs of the team. The minor league season is hanging by a thread, so teams like the Reds will need a pool of players to pull from in the event of injury or fatigue.
Look, the 2020 season is going to be like none we’ve ever seen before, if we even see it at all. The coronavirus pandemic has forced a halt to MLB operations, but there’s hope for a season as early as July 1st. Given that doubleheaders and fewer off days will be part of the upcoming season, more players will be needed, especially pitchers.
Nick Lodolo would be the perfect asset on the Reds taxi squad. The tall and lanky left-hander only played in eight games last season, but that was after pitching in 16 games for Texas Christian University and recording a 2.36 ERA for the Horned Frogs.
Lodolo was the first pitcher chosen in last year’s draft and is the Reds No. 1 overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline. The left-hander has a fastball that sits in the low-90s and has good action on both his changeup and slider. Lodolo has great control, as he didn’t walk a single batter in 18.1 innings in the minors last season.
It was expected that Nick Lodolo would start the 2020 season with the Daytona Tortugas, but with the minor league season likely cancelled, adding the southpaw to the taxi squad is a surefire way to get him some live action this season. Lodolo could be used as a spot starter or a lefty out of the bullpen.