News broke earlier in the week that Cincinnati Reds ace Luis Castillo would not be ready for Opening Day due to shoulder fatigue having set him back a bit. Today, we learned that recent acquisition Mike Minor likely wouldn’t be ready for Opening Day for similar reasons, a startling revelation given the team’s insistence on shedding Sonny Gray and Wade Miley from the rotation earlier in the offseason.
Enter Nick Lodolo, the Reds top lefty pitching prospect and former 1st round pick, who’s in a pretty damn excellent spot to make the team out of camp. Make the roster, too, since he’s not currently on the 40-man, an administrative perk for him this season as it meant he wasn’t locked out from Goodyear and was able to report on-time and begin his spring work weeks before all those on the 40-man.
He starts today in Cactus League play for the Reds against the Kansas City Royals, from whom the Reds got Minor last week in exchange for Amir Garrett. The two clubs will tussle in Surprise at Surprise Stadium, unsurprisingly, with first pitch set for 4:05 PM ET. There is no televised feed of the game, however, so you’ll have to use your ears and imagination to follow Lodolo’s progress instead.
That last tidbit is frustrating given the Reds are rolling out a lineup that sure does feature a lot of what should be their regular lineup. That’s below, as is the Royals edition.