4. Nick Lodolo, Reds starting pitcher
Speaking of lefties in the Cincinnati Reds rotation, I refuse to simply forget about Nick Lodolo and what he brings to the pitching staff. Heading into last offseason, a strong argument could have been made that Lodolo was the best of the Reds' trio of rookie starters.
Unforunately, injuries derailed Lodolo's sophomore season. This is a disturbing trend, and if Lodolo becomes a liablity more than an asset, then the Reds have a problem.
Lodolo appeared in just seven games last season. A lower leg injury brought Lodolo's season to a screeching halt, and one has to wonder if the injury itself was the reason for the left-hander's poor play to begin the 2023 season.
Lodolo did not look like himself. The southpaw owned 1.75 WHIP and 6.29 ERA through his first 34.1 innings of work before being shut down. Lodolo attempted to come back from the injury, but suffered a setback and never returned to the Cincinnati Reds starting rotation.
If Nick Lodolo is healthy to begin the 2024 season, there's every reason to believe he can be as effective as he was during his rookie season (4-7 3.66 ERA). But if this injury is severe and hampers Lodolo's performance going forward, things are going to get dicey.