3 Reds who've exceeded expectations through 50 games and 3 who've fallen short

Cincinnati Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson
Cincinnati Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
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Reds LHP Nick Lodolo has fallen short of expectations through 50 games in 2023.

Nick Lodolo is currently on the Injured List, and the latest reports suggest that Reds fans may not see last year's rookie until closer to the All-Star break. An MRI revealed that Lodolo has a stress reaction in his tibia and that's going to cause the lefty to miss several weeks of playing time.

The question becomes whether or not the injury contributed to Lodolo's poor performance this season. Because while it's a shame to see the southpaw shelved with an injury, Lodolo looked like a shell of the pitcher who took the mound in 2022.

Before landing on the IL, Lodolo owned a 6.29 ERA through seven starts. While his strikeouts were up (47 over 34.1 innings of work), so were his home run totals. The left-hander surrendered 10 round trippers so far this season, and once again leads the league in hit batsmen (7).

The most troubling stat for Lodolo may be his home run to fly ball rate. According to FanGraphs, Lodolo's HR/FB is a whopping 27-percent. Last year, that number was 15.1-percent. For reference, 9.5-percent is about average. Yikes.

Now, there's every reason to believe that the HR/FB can come back down, after all, it's very early. But when Nick Lodolo returns to the bump later this season, the Cincinnati Reds will need the left-hander to do a better job of keeping the ball in the ballpark.