Who will be the Reds 2023 Opening Day starter?

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Nick Lodolo.
Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Nick Lodolo. / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

The Cincinnati Reds starting rotation is far from set. Heading into last spring, the trio of Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, and Tyler Mahle were all part of the Reds roster.

Fast-forward to 2023 and all three pitchers are now playing elsewhere. Castillo was dealt to the Seattle Mariners at last year's trade deadline, while both Gray and Mahle ended up with the Minnesota Twins in separate transactions.

So, the race for the 2023 Opening Day starter is up for grabs, but it likely comes down to one of two individuals - both of whom are former first-round draft picks.

Will Nick Lodolo or Hunter Greene be the Reds 2023 Opening Day starter?

Last season, both Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo broke camp with the big league club. While Lodoloo wasn't "officially" on the team's Opening Day roster due to roster construction, the lefty started his first major league game during the first full week of the 2022 season.

Both Greene and Lodolo had varying degrees of success during their rookie campaigns, and both pitchers found their way onto the IL as well. Lodolo was sidelined during the early-part of the 2022 season and Greene missed much of the month of August.

Both pitchers are fully healthy as spring training begins in Goodyear, Arizona and it may come down to timing in terms of who take the ball on March 30th against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Last season, Hunter Greene went 5-13 with a 4.44 ERA and 164 punch outs. Greene looked masterful after returning from the IL in September. Over his final four contest the right-hander recorded 37 strikeouts in 23 innings and an ERA of just 0.78.

Nick Lodolo's first year in the big leagues wasn't half-bad. After a back injury stopped him in his tracks after just three starts, the lanky left-hander returned in July and went 3-5 with a 3.35 ERA and 112 Ks in 88.2 innings of work.

It's essentially a two-horse race for the honor to toe the rubber on Opening Day in 2023. While Graham Ashcraft might have an outside chance to take the ball on Opening Day, the decision likely comes down to Greene or Lodolo.

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