Monday, July 4, 2022

Reds place rookie lefty Nick Lodolo on injured list, activate Mike Moustakas

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The Cincinnati Reds have placed left-handed rookie Nick Lodolo on the injured list with a lower back strain, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. In a corresponding move, the Reds have activated third baseman Mike Moustakas.

Lodolo, 24 years old, had made three starts so far this season. In 14 2/3 innings pitched, he had posted a 5.52 ERA (79 ERA+) and a 3.80 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His most recent appearance, Sunday against the St. Louis Cardinals, had been his best to date, as he had surrendered just one run while punching out seven across 5 2/3 innings.

Lodolo, the seventh pick in the 2019 Draft, entered the season ranked by CBS Sports as the No. 2 prospect in all of baseball. Here’s what we wrote at the time:

Lodolo was the first pitcher to come off the board during that 2019 draft, albeit relatively late at No. 7. He’s atoned for it by zipping through the minors, accruing a 2.31 ERA and a 7.09 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 13 starts across Double- and Triple-A in his first full professional season. (He was hampered by blisters and shoulder fatigue.) Lodolo doesn’t have loud stuff; he does have a good slider and a broad arsenal of averageish offerings that play up because of his command and the deception he creates with a lower release point. Provided Lodolo is hearty and hale, he ought to debut early this spring, with a straightforward path toward mid-rotation status.

The Reds, the worst team in the majors, entered Thursday with a 3-15 record. It’s not apparent who will replace Lodolo in the rotation, as the Reds do not have any Triple-A starters on the 40-player roster. Manager David Bell could theoretically run out a bullpen game, or ask reliever Jeff Hoffman — who has thrown multiple innings in four of his seven outings — to step in during Lodolo’s absence.

Moustakas, 33, struggled in his first nine games this season. He batted just .129/.125/.129 (-29 OPS+) with 13 strikeouts and no walks or extra-base hits in his first 32 trips to the plate before landing on the IL with a biceps injury.

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