Nick Lodolo's injury forces Reds to name surprise starter in series opener vs Dodgers

This is a wise move on the part of Reds' manager David Bell.
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Brent Suter
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Brent Suter / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

Nick Lodolo was supposed to get the ball for the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday night, but that honor will instead fall to another left-handed pitcher — Brent Suter. The Harvard graduate will start Thursday's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers and eventually give way to Nick Martinez.

Lodolo will only miss a couple weeks (hopefully) after suffering a left groin strain. This is the second time that the Reds' starter has landed on the IL already this season after missing almost all of 2023 with a lower leg injury.

The Reds recalled Sam Moll on Wednesday to help fill the void on the roster, and with Martinez having pitched on Sunday, it seems likely that manager David Bell will be heavily reliant on a number of relievers against LA on Thursday night.

Nick Lodolo's injury forces Reds to name Brent Suter starter in series opener vs LA Dodgers

Suter is the perfect pitcher to begin the game against the Dodgers' potent lineup. LA typically deploys the likes of Freddie Freeman, Shohei Ohtani, and Max Muncy atop the batting order. All three players bat from the left side, so having a southpaw like Suter on the bump could help to neutralize the effectiveness of that trio the first time through the batting order.

Suter has pitched well against lefties this season. In 2024, the veteran reliever has allowed left-handed batters to hit just .195 as opposed to the .286 batting average against that right-handed hitters have posted when facing Suter this season. Suter is no stranger to starting games, and has 41 such appearances under his belt during his major league career.

Quite honestly, it's not the pitching that should concern the Reds' fanbase — though facing the gauntlet that is Freeman, Ohtani, and Mookie Betts is no walk in the park. But it's been the Reds' bats that have let the team down of late, and Cincinnati's lineup has to show up in Hollywood tonight if they're going to have any chance of competing against the presumptive favorites in the National League.

Suter will likely get one or two innings of work and then hand the reins over to Martinez. Fernando Cruz was the only reliever that David Bell used against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday, so the rest of the relief corps should be relatively well rested. Can the Reds get a W at Dodger Stadium tonight? The odds would appear to be stacked against them, but stranger things have happened.

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