The Cincinnati Reds received some unfortunate news on Sunday. Starter Nick Lodolo was placed on the 15-day IL, and according to the Cincinnati Enquirer's Charlie Goldsmith, the left-hander will miss at least four weeks with a calf injury.
With Lodolo's placement on the Injured List, the Reds rotation looks something like this - Hunter Greene, Graham Ashcraft, Luke Weaver, Ben Lively, and TBD. That's assuming that Lively is part of the rotation after working three innings last Wednesday against the New York Mets.
It's safe to say that the Reds will need to fill Nick Lodolo's spot in the rotation, but who's the most likely pitcher to get the call? Let's rank the four options to replace Lodolo in the rotation.
4. Derek Law could fill Nick Lodolo's spot in the Reds starting rotation.
It's worked so far, right? All kidding aside, the Cincinnati Reds have run out Derek Law twice in less than week as the team's opener. Taking a page out of the Tampa Bay Rays' playbook isn't the worst idea in the world, but it's certainly not ideal.
Law has been David Bell's most versatile piece in the bullpen, going 2-4 with a 2.61 ERA and 19 strikeouts in just over 20 innings of work. While using Law in this manner wouldn't necessarily eliminate the potential of the right-hander entering in games outside of the one he starts, it would definitely limit his usage and effectiveness.
Using Derek Law as an opener shouldn't be off the table for the upcoming week, but covering at least four weeks-worth of starts seems unsustainable for a bullpen that already been taxed early this season. The only team to have logged more innings in relief this season are the aforementioned Rays.
The Cincinnati Reds called up three relievers on Sunday, a sign that Bell's bullpen is absolutely exhausted. Rather than push the envelope, Cincinnati needs to look elsewhere in order to offset the loss of Nick Lodolo. Using Law as the opener is an option, but only for one start at the most.