Since the team opted for Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray to pitch on the same day on regular rest, they need a fresh arm to start the game this evening, and it appears Lucas Sims has been tasked for that.
Sims wasn’t really a part of the Reds Spring Training roster crunch, though he came into camp as a consideration in the bullpen. However, his remaining option gave the team, well, uh, an option to consider (as opposed to his counterparts in the discussion with Robert Stephenson and Matt Wisler). The Reds ultimately exercised the option on Sims, sending him to Louisville, while Stephenson made the bullpen and Wisler was waived.
Sims has had a pretty solid season in AAA, with only one poor outing skewing an otherwise good ERA (4.06). On April 26 against Norfolk, Sims allowed six earned runs in 1.1 innings pitched. It’s the only game in which he’s allowed more than three earned runs. He’s had the out-pitch working in a big way, too, as his SO/9 is a robust 12.8 on the season. He has two starts this season with 10 or more strikeouts, with a season high 13 coming against the Indianapolis Indians on April 20th.
Sims was once a top 50ish prospect in baseball, and though that was five years ago, it’s undeniable that there’s talent in the arm. Considering the Reds may have to make decisions on some of the one-year guys in the rotation soon (Roark, Wood), this opportunity is as good as any to show the team’s decision makers Sims is the one to turn to either later this year or, for sure, in 2020.
Sims will be opposed by Jordan Lyles, who’s having a very good season from the Pirates rotation. Lyles owns a 2.81 ERA (3.06 WHIP) in nine starts while punching out just over nine over nine innings. He blanked the Reds over five innings in his first start of the season, though he just allowed six earned runs to the Rockies over 5.2 in his last start, so maybe he’s starting to crack?
The Reds need this one to guarantee a split for the series and have the opportunity for another series win tomorrow (while also clawing back up the NL Central standings).
Clint Hurdle is a turd and hasn’t put out a lineup as of publish.