The Cincinnati Reds starting rotation has been a bit of a mess for the better part of the season. However, thankfully things are starting to fall back into place with the recent return of Hunter Greene, and now the impending return of Nick Lodolo.
Lodolo has been out since early-May due to a calf and tibia injury. After having his rehab assignment transferred from Double-A to Triple-A, Lodolo took the mound for the Louisville Bats on Sunday and despite giving up two earned runs, he looked good.
In just over two innings of work, Lodolo picked up three strikeouts, allowed three hits, and walked three batters. With Lodolo likely to make one more start for the Bats on Friday, he could be on track to return to the majors later this month.
Reds news: Nick Lodolo is on track to return later this month
Nick Lodolo could be returning to the mound sooner rather than later for the Cincinnati Reds, and it could not have come sooner. Prior to his injury, Lodolo made seven starts with a 6.29 ERA and 47 strikeouts.
Despite the high ERA, Lodolo has been sorely missed. Without the former first-rounder, the Reds were forced to turn to pitchers like Luke Weaver and Levi Stoudt. With Lodolo back, it will add some much-needed balance to the starting rotation, but it won't fix all the Reds' issues.
Unfortunately, the offense has fallen asleep at a critical time for the Reds. This means that Lodolo's arm is going to be needed that much more. In a recent start for Double-A Chattanooga, Lodolo threw an absolute gem, striking out six in three scoreless innings, and this could be pivotal going forward.
If Lodolo can bring that same level of execution to the majors it would make all the difference. It's very possible that Lodolo could make his return on August 30th against the San Fransisco Giants, or September 1st in a doubleheader against the Chicago Cubs.
One thing Reds Country knows for sure is that getting Nick Lodolo back will be a big deal. Much like Hunter Greene, Lodolo is a cornerstone for the starting rotation. Despite not having the best start this season, Lodolo is the Reds No. 2 pitcher for a reason, and fans have to remember that.