The Reds drafted left hander Sean Lucas in 2012 in the 25th round. Lucas saw immediate success as he posted a 2.25 ERA in Billings with just 3 walks and 24 strikeouts in 24 innings before earning a late season promotion to Dayton where he threw 7.2 innings with 2 walks and 5 strikeouts to go with a 2.35 ERA. His initial season was a big success. The Reds sent him back to Dayton to start the year with only a few innings under the belt at the level.
April got off to a rough start for Lucas as he allowed runs in three of his first four appearances while allowing 8 hits. The left hander rebounded well though as he threw five straight games without allowing a run and only allowed one hit without a walk and 4 strikeouts. He had some struggles in his final appearance of the month as he allowed 3 runs in 1.1 innings to finish up the month with a 6.30 ERA in 10 innings with a strong 6.7% walk rate, though his strikeout rate of 15.6% was a little low.
May got off to a good start as he didn’t allow a run over his first four appearances that spanned 3.1 innings with 3 strikeouts. Lucas struggled with his control in his fifth appearance against West Michigan though as he allowed 2 runs in 1.2 innings with 2 walks. That was the last game in the month he would allow a run. The left handed reliever would throw 5 shutout innings, each a one inning appearance to round out the month where he only allowed a single hit in all of the games combined. He would finish out May with a 1.38 ERA over 13 innings pitched with a strong 5.7% walk rate and a very impressive 30.2% strikeout rate.
June continued the scoreless streak as Lucas threw 3 shutout innings over his first two appearances before giving up three runs to Bowling Green on the 7th of the month. He would struggled with his control over the next few games but didn’t allow an earned run over the next four appearances and four innings. On the 22nd against Lake County the lefty gave up a run in 2.1 innings and followed that up with two perfect innings on the 24th with 2 strikeouts. He was then promoted to Bakersfield where he immediately ran into trouble as he began to battle control problems as he walked two batters while allowing 4 earned in 0.2 innings in his final appearance of the month. Lucas would finish up the month with a 5.54 ERA in 13 innings with a high walk rate of 11.3% and a 17% strikeout rate.
July started much like June ended as Lucas continued to struggle with his control as he allowed 4 earned runs with 4 walks and no strikeouts over the first two appearances of the month that spanned 1.1 innings. The next two outings went well with 3 shutout innings before again struggling with his control as he walked 3 batters in 2.1 innings on the 13th. He would make his final appearance of the month as he allowed a run in 1.2 innings before heading to the disabled list. He would finish the month with a 6.48 ERA over 8.1 innings with a very high 17.1% walk rate and a 14.6% strikeout rate.
Lucas would barely return in time before the season ended as he came off of the disabled list and returned to the game in top form on the 27th of August with a perfect inning and two strikeouts. He would throw a hitless inning with a walk and two more strikeouts on the 30th of the month. The lefty made his final appearance of the year with 2 perfect innings on the 1st of September with two more strikeouts. He would finish out the last week of the season with a 0.00 ERA in 5 innings with 7.7% walk rate and a 46.2% strikeout rate.
The season started off a bit rough but Sean Lucas was able to rebound well before seemingly pitching injured for a few games and then heading to the disabled list. He returned strong and his overall numbers look good, though his time in Bakersfield was a struggle. The struggles can likely be written off, for the most part, to the injury which seemed to coincide rather well with the struggling performance. The lefty will be 25-years-old when the season begins (or shortly after with an early April birthday), so the Reds may want to push him quickly to begin the 2014 season as a lefty reliever with solid stuff and when healthy in 2013 showed some polish.
For more player season review, you can see the entire list here.