Nick Lodolo ranked 3rd on the 2022 Cincinnati Reds in overall bWAR (2.7), and his breakout first campaign saw him finish 6th in the National League’s Rookie of the Year voting. He last pitched for the Reds on May 6th of this year, however, as a persistent problem with his left tibia landed him on the 60-day injured list almost immediately.
He’d been on the way back to the Reds with rehab starts as high as AA Chattanooga of late, but according to MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon, Lodolo has had a setback that could derail the remainder of his 2023 season altogether.
Lodolo had a setback in his last rehab start at Louisville. MRI revealed another stress reaction in his left tibia. He’s going for a second opinion, Bell said.— Mark Sheldon (@m_sheldon) August 22, 2023
The Cincinnati Reds held tight at the August 1st trade deadline while then holding on to 1st place in the National League Central. The Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs did not sit tight, however, and made additions to clubs that were in pursuit of actual hardware this season, and both have since rocketed past the now 3rd place Reds in the standings. Part of the team’s decision to sit out the trade market was their expectation of several arms returning, though Lodolo’s setback now stands alongside the clunker of a return by Hunter Greene (5 HR, 9 ER allowed on Sunday) and the still-to-be-determined returns of both Ben Lively and Tejay Antone.
Lodolo’s ‘setback’ on rehab also comes on the heels of Jonathan India having a ‘setback’ of a similar voracity, as the Cincinnati 2B had to shut down his rehab altogether to let a lingering issue heal again before ramping back up his own return, something that is also threatening to end his season altogether.
Not exactly a rock-solid endorsement of the team’s ability to address injuries, nor does it do anything to dispel the notion that bad things just seem to happen to the Cincinnati Reds.
Get well soon, Nick. Here’s hoping the Reds are in it to win it still - or, finally - when you throw your next pitch in the uniform.