Cincinnati Reds: Three players who’ve excelled in expanded roles

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 18: Tyler Mahle #30 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 18: Tyler Mahle #30 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /
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Lucas Sims #39 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches against the Cleveland Indians.
CINCINNATI, OH – AUGUST 4: Lucas Sims #39 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches against the Cleveland Indians. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

3. Lucas Sims, Reds relief pitcher

Has there been a more impressive reliever on the Reds this season than Lucas Sims? I know, I know, that’s not saying a lot given the state of the Cincinnati bullpen. However, despite the struggles from the relief corps, Sims has brought it every night and has the makings to be the team’s closer heading into next season, if not before.

Raisel Iglesias has not been as bad as what we saw from him last season, but the right-hander is still relatively inconsistent and it’s hard to count on him to close out a game. However, if Lucas Sims enters the game in the ninth inning with a lead, I feel pretty safe that the Reds are going to emerge with the W.

Lucas Sims is capitalizing on his opportunity this season. Sims has made 11 relief appearances, second-most on the team behind Amir Garrett and Nate Jones. Sims leads the Reds relief corps with 13 innings pitched and 18 strikeouts. Sims has bumped his K-rate up to 36.7% according to FanGraphs.

Next. Transactions show commitment to winning now

If the Cincinnati Reds are to continue their upward trend, they’ll need their reliable players to continue to play at a high level, but those listed here must continue to impress as well. If Eugenio Suárez, Joey Votto and Mike Moustakas play up to their talent, this Cincinnati Reds squad could be tough to beat in the month of September.