5. Nick Lodolo, Reds left-handed pitcher
This final spot in the 2022 Cincinnati Reds starting rotation will likely come down to two of the team’s top prospects; Nick Lodolo and Hunter Greene. While Greene possesses electric stuff, I’m going to lean towards Lodolo at this point in time.
There’s a very real possibility, depending on Luis Castillo’s standing with the team and Michael Lorenzen’s free agency, that Cincinnati will be looking to fill multiple spots in the rotation and both Lodolo and Greene start for the Reds in 2022.
We’ve seen both Greene and Lodolo only once this spring, but I’m sure we’ll see more of the young pitching prospects in Cactus League action. I’d expect both to begin the season in the minors, but given Lodolo’s age and college experience, he may get a promotion to Double-A Chattanooga while Greene starts the 2021 season at Advanced-A Dayton.
I’m sure we’ll hear the debate all season; who’ll be the first to make their major league debut? As far as stuff is concerned, Hunter Greene has the advantage. But, when taking into account control and command of his pitches, Nick Lodolo is much more advanced at this point in his career.
While we haven’t yet seen the Cincinnati Reds take the field for Opening Day 2021, it’s always fun to look ahead. I feel confident that Wade Miley’s time in Cincinnati will come to a close after the upcoming season. Miley has a $10M team-option for the 2022 season or a $1M buyout.
Whether both Sonny Gray and Luis Castillo are in a Reds’ uniform beyond 2021 is yet to be determined, and the team’s success or failure of the 2021 season may have a lot to do with who’s taking the mound in 2022. If the Reds make a playoff push during the upcoming season, both Gray and Castillo could return the following season.