Last July the Cincinnati Reds, in sellers mode, traded Adam Duvall to the Atlanta Braves, who were looking to add some pop to their lineup. In the deal the Reds picked up former top prospect Lucas Sims, along with two other players. At the time, the 24-year-old Sims had been back-and-forth between Triple-A and the Major Leagues over the past two seasons, but hadn’t established himself yet. He spent a short period of time with the Reds in September of 2018. Sims threw just 5.1 innings over three games.

On the 40-man roster, he was in big league camp this past spring with the Reds, but didn’t make the club. Instead he was optioned to Triple-A Louisville. With the Bats this season he’s made 9 starts and posted a 4.06 ERA. That’s nearly a full run better than the league average, which sits at 5.02 on the year. In his 44.1 innings pitched this year he’s struck out 63 batters and walked 16.

For Lucas Sims, he’s been solid at preventing runs for Louisville this year. The league as a whole has watched records toppled left-and-right when it comes to home runs. Both Triple-A leagues moving to the usage of the Major League Baseball this year has led to unprecedented output on the long ball. That’s led to runs/ERA going up quite a bit from the past. Where he’s stood out is racking up the strikeouts, where he leads the league. He’s been roughly league average in allowing home runs and walks.

Lucas Sims Scouting Report

Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 225 | Throws: Right | Age: 25

Fastball | Sims will throw his fastball in the 91-95 MPH range, mostly sitting 91-93 with the pitch. In todays game that is fringy as a starting pitcher.

Curveball | This is the bread-and-butter for Lucas Sims. It’s a plus offering that works 77-80 MPH with good, late biting action on the 12-6 plane.

Change Up | A pitch he uses mostly against lefties in the 85-87 MPH range. It’s a fringy offering.

Cutter | This pitch shows up from time-to-time in the mid-to-upper 80’s.

For the most part, Lucas Sims is going to work fastball and curveball. The fastball tends to work up in the zone, then he’ll come with the curveball down to change the eye level. Against lefties you will see the change up used more frequently, but it’s not showing up much against right-handed hitters.

Control will be something to pay attention to. It can be hit-or-miss on a given day for Lucas Sims. Let’s take a look at his 2019 game log, via Baseball-Reference.

As you can see from the highlighted column, when the control is there, it’s there. But when it’s not, it really hasn’t been. Control, and how the Pirates can handle his fastball, will be key. The velocity, nor the movement, is there for him to throw it by guys too frequently. So it’s going to matter where he can locate it. Keeping it up and at the very top of the zone so he’s able to use the curve to put hitters away is what will make or break his start tonight against Pittsburgh.

30 Responses

  1. Tim Freund

    Doug, when you describe Lucas’s pitching you make it sound like he has no chance tonight at all. Hope I am interpreting your comments wrong.

    • Greenfield Red

      Doug’s piece says nothing of the sort. It says that his ERA is 1 point lower than the International League and if he can locate and control he should have a good night. If he can’t he will struggle.

  2. another bob in nc

    Is Sims essentially a two-pitch starter and are two-pitch starters generally not effective?

  3. The Duke

    If i’m the Reds pitching coach my plan for his start tonight would be about 45% fastballs, 40% curveballs, 12% changeups and 3% cutters as a show me pitch.

  4. Choo Choo Coleman

    I was in attendance at the Bat’s win vs. the Syracuse Mets on 5-7-19. Lots of former MLB players in the Mets’ lineup that night, and the kid dominated the game from the get-go. If your throw out the one horrible game, where he gave up 8 runs, he’s had a really good year. I think the control will be there. He uses both sides of the plate, and has a nice sinker, as well. I think the kid will pitch well tonight. Give him some runs early, like they did Sonny, and he will give them 6 or 7.

  5. kevinz

    Hmm Now Votto got it going. I am wonder if hurt something.
    Mayb best way to give him a Break miss the 2nd of a DH now Tonights Game.

  6. Ryan

    Cody Reed sprained his MCL yesterday, will be shut down for 2 weeks. Glad it wasnt his arm or his groin and the prognosis is good. That has to give him a little clout in that clubhouse and a nice little nod from Bell. Still made it through 2 innings and saved the bullpen. He should be back up ASAP.

  7. Hoyce

    My scouting report on sims:
    Fastball: plus, plus
    Curve: plus plus plus
    Cutter: plus plus
    Tempo: plus plus plus

  8. kevinz

    Nice start so far for Sims i would say lol. I am glad i got that Dietrich jersey now.

  9. Foxred

    Listening to Pirate broadcast and just as I was getting upset about Bell’s managing, Bob Walk was all over Bell for not taking Sims out much earlier when he was clearly done, basically ruining a debut performance.

    • RojoBenjy


      Kid deserved better.

      Shame on David Bell.

      Was this a “Hey kid you’re only up here one night, i’m gonna rag your arm and ride you as hard as I can.”

      If so, again I say—for shame.

      • Ryan

        He had 1 out and a potential double play from going 8 shutout innings. Reds still win the game and the kid got a standing O. Learning moment for Lucas as well.

      • Rich H

        The bullpen needs as many breaks as it can get, and I would bet a million dollars that Lucas Sims either didn’t want to come out, or understood what was best for the team and tried to do it. Probably both. They were also up 10-0, and Sims got a standing ovation on his way out. I was there, I saw it, heard it and cheered for him as loud as the other 13,000+ fans that were there did. Nobody in that ballpark, on the team or in the stands, had their impression of Lucas Sims tarnished. Projecting your own feelings instead of watching the game and postgame interviews can only get you so far.

    • John C.

      If Bell would have taken him out after 85 pitches you guys would have complained that he took him out too early. Sometimes you just need to see what a guy has when he is stressed.

      • Foxred

        Not just my feeling. You have a guy from the other side (who I respect a lot as an analyst harping on this point rather than whooping up a Pirate’s first home run in majors. I am sure everyone felt great for Sims. It was still the wrong baseball decision. And going into the eighth already reset the bullpen. It was unnecessary. Sims had not thrown that many pitches all year.

      • Rich H

        Foxred that’s just such a ridiculous comment. 25 year old Lucas Sims is in his seventh year as a pro, averaged 88 pitches per appearance for his 10 big league starts two years ago, and has the same 88 pitches per appearance average this year. He threw 100 pitches last night. This has nothing to do with the right baseball move, and everything to do with you and Benjy just wanting to find something to complain about David Bell. David Bell did this, David Bell did that, blah blah blah blah blah. Give me a break.

    • RojoBenjy

      I have no tarnished view of Lucas Sims. He pitched the best game we’ve seen in GABP this season (by a Reds pitcher).

      • Rich H

        Then why are you complaining about the manager sending him back out to try and get one more inning, sitting at 82 pitches going into the seventh?

      • Foxred

        Rich H. Then you obviously do not understand baseball. This is not even debatable. You want to defend Bell. Fine. Noted. I will trust non-“homers” giving non partial comments than those looking through rose colored glasses

      • Rich H

        I understand baseball just fine, Fox. I understand that he had 82 pitches going into the eighth, had been dominating this team all night, and was going up against the bottom of the order. I understand he was a ground ball away from 8 shutout innings after two weak bloop singles. I understand Lucas Sims saying after the game that he wanted to prove he belonged up here; big leaguers don’t get pulled after 82 pitches up by 10 runs when the team played a double header THE DAY BEFORE. I understand that the stats from a season debut for a guy in his seventh year with 23 big league appearances over the last two years means nothing, especially when the team and the fans all loved him and praised him for that effort. Mostly, though, I understand that basing your entire analysis off of one opposing announcer’s take instead of actually watching the game and all the postgame interviews is lazy, as is the “well you don’t understand baseball” argument when you’re just plain wrong but want to be right.

        But hey, just keep shouting at clouds. Fine. Noted.

      • Rich Harwood

        It is absolutely mind blowing to me that you think pulling a guy with a chance for a complete game shutout at EIGHTY TWO PITCHES in the eighth, up 10 to freaking nothing, is a no-brainer because that’s what an opposing announcer said. Incredible. Just absolutely incredible.

      • kevinz

        Especially from the Pirates Play by play they are Horrible Homers.
        They always Hate on the reds. They are just mad that reds gonna past the Jolly Roger lmao

  10. kevinz

    I feel bad for how the start ended for Sims. He did still get the W.
    3 HR Game for Dietrich means more to me lol.
    I cannot people actually debated Puig was better then him lol.
    I believe gonna hard for Scooter to get his Job back.
    Unless injury happens.

  11. Bill

    Tremendous start by Sims … Reds depth looking better each day.

  12. Foxred

    Rich H. If anyone was not watching it was you. My Gosh how many pitches do you let Sims make in the Eighth. He was beyond laboring and for no real reason anymore. He was crossing 100 pitches, had saved the bullpen, and reached his year long high in pitches. He hit the previous batter. Walked one. No longer had command. Every starter has a pitch count in this day and age. Yet you’d run Sims out for a complete game when he was clearly done. Glad it was 10-0 and this debate really did not matter. Fortunately this debate is just about a culture of promoting success vs whatever Bell is doing.

    • kevinz

      Go check the Game Pitching Coach Johnson convinced Bell to leave him in.
      Bell is showing he communicates with his coaches all the time.
      Sometimes the Manager relies on the voices around him

    • Rich H

      I was at the game, Fox. I re-watched the eighth and ninth innings when I got home because I wanted to see what TV coverage of Lucas Sims standing ovation, which I thought was the coolest part of the game. Of course he was tired, but he wanted a chance and the Reds could afford to give him one. Sims said he wanted to finish it in his postgame. I think the Reds were probably going to pull him after that batter anyway, and probably at the first run he gave up. Which is what they did. But this is pointless, because if you think David Bell and his staff haven’t been promoting a culture of success with a pitching staff that is statistically one of the best in baseball, you just have your mind made up and you’ll grasp at any straw to try to reinforce that belief. So good luck with that.

  13. CP

    This start by Sims gives me some hope of depth for our season if someone gets hurt/regresses. Before yesterday I wasn’t sure who would be next up with Alex Wood still not ready.