Reds starter Nick Lodolo is a finalist for the NL Cy Young Award
Most baseball experts and pundits would probably go with Hunter Greene as the Reds' best young starting pitcher. But all too soon they forget about another former first-round draft pick - Nick Lodolo. The left-hander missed almost all of last season with a lower leg injury, but Lodolo expects to be fully healthy when called upon this season.
Lodolo's stuff is flat-out nasty, and if healthy, is arguably the Reds best starting pitcher. His fastball plays up to mid-90s and his breaking ball may be one of best in the game, especially against left-handed hitters. But Lodolo can also spin that breaking ball inside to right-handed batters and make them look foolish.
Lodolo lost some of his luster last season after his numbers dipped and he eventually landed on the injured list. There was an outside chance that Lodolo was going to return near the end of the season, but the southpaw suffered a setback, and was sidelined for all but seven starts.
There's plenty of competition to be sure. Obviously, Atlanta Braves' ace Spencer Strider, San Francisco Giants southpaw Logan Webb, and last year's rookie sensation Kodai Senga of the New York Mets will all be in the mix for the award as well.
But every year there's a surprise or two who emerge as a contender for the award, and in 2024, that pitcher will be Lodolo. Look for the lefty to put forth a strong campaign during the upcoming season and make a run at the NL Cy Young.