CHICAGO -- It appears that Nick Lodolo is ready to rejoin the Reds' rotation.
In his fourth rehab assignment start, Lodolo pitched 4 2/3 innings for Triple-A Louisville and allowed one run and five hits with one walk and five strikeouts while throwing 78 pitches. Louisville lost, 5-3, to Toledo.
“It looked like he pitched really well,” Reds manager David Bell said. “He’ll be making a start for us his next start. I don’t know if it’s going to be Monday or Tuesday yet.”
Lodolo has not pitched since his April 24 win over the Cardinals because of a lower back strain.
Ranked by MLB Pipeline as Cincinnati’s No. 1 prospect and No. 32 overall, Lodolo is 1-2 with a 5.52 ERA in three starts this season before his injury.
Lodolo, 24, will face the Mets but a decision on what happens to the rotation can be deferred. Cincinnati will need a six-man rotation next week because there is a doubleheader scheduled against Pittsburgh on Thursday.
After that, what happens it to be determined. The club could stay with six starters, but it would tax an already thin bullpen. Having two of their starters work in tandem could also be explored.
“We’re going to need a six-man rotation through the doubleheader. It hasn’t made much sense to talk too deeply about it,” Bell said.
In his four rehab starts, Lodolo has a 2.84 ERA with 16 hits, three walks and 18 strikeouts over 12 2/3 innings.