Jonathan India's bold prediction will have Reds fans eager to see Nick Lodolo return

Have Reds fans forgotten how good Nick Lodolo is?

Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India
Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

Reds fans are thanking their lucky stars that Jonathan India is still part of their favorite team following Noelvi Marte's suspension and the rash of injuries that befallen the club over the past couple of weeks. Cincinnati is now without TJ Friedl, Matt McLain, and Brandon Williamson to start the season.

India was dealing with an injury himself during the offseason. The Reds second baseman was plagued by plantar fasciitis last season, and the injury lingered into spring camp. That meant a delayed start to spring games for India, who would oftentimes be found on the backfields taking live batting practice with a handful of pitchers.

During an episode of the Jim Day Podcast, the Reds broadcaster asked India who was the nastiest pitcher he faced while rehabbing from his injury. Without question, India responded with the name Nick Lodolo. India followed up his proclamation by saying that he believes Lodolo will be a Cy Young Award-winner.

Jonathan India's bold prediction will have Reds fans eager to see Nick Lodolo return

India elaborated by saying, "He can win the Cy Young, that's how good he is. If he's healthy, he has electric stuff." India cited Lodolo's ability to hit 96-plus on the radar gun and his fearless approach to going inside on right-handed hitters.

It's easy to forget how good Lodolo really is. The left-hander was only on the mound for seven games last season before being placed on the injured list. While there was hope for a late-season return, Lodolo suffered a setback and never returned to the mound until this spring.

Lodolo has appeared in two games, thrown in 4.2 innings, and struck out five batters. According to Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer, minor league spring training game next Tuesday before heading down to Triple-A Louisville for a rehab assignment before returning to the active roster for his first scheduled start on April 10th.

If Lodolo is healthy, and Reds fans are hopeful that he is, then it's quite possible that the southpaw could make India's prediction come true. Lodolo's velocity, combined with his arm slot, and his fearless approach to both right-handed and left-handed hitters, put him in the conversation to be the best pitcher in the Cincinnati Reds rotation.

Can Lodolo take that next step and be part of the NL Cy Young conversation this season? The bigger question is whether or not Lodolo is fully healthy. If the answer to that question is yes, then it certainly puts the Cy Young Award in play.

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