Spring training doesn't matter, right? We hear that narrative all the time, and more times than not, it's true. Now that phrase can go both ways.
In other words, spring training doesn't matter when a veteran you know and love hits .125 with 14 strikeouts in Cactus League play. By the same token, spring training doesn't matter when an aspiring prospect mashes for .476 with four round trippers and 15 RBIs during March in Arizona.
So, let's investigate this a little further, shall we? Let's look at two Cincinnati Reds players who proved their performance during spring training was a fluke, and one player who proved that his numbers were a prelude to his regular season performance.
Reds pitcher Lucas Sims proved his spring training was a fluke.
Wait a minute. This is a good thing. First, a little context. Lucas Sims missed almost all of the 2022 season after undergoing back surgery. That's not easy to overcome, especially for a pitcher like Sims who goes all-out each time he steps onto the mound.
But, Sims had a rough go of it during spring training. The right-hander was still working his way back from the injury and appeared in just six games. But in those six games, Sims gave up 10 runs on 11 hits.
Sims was placed on the 15-day IL to begin the 2023 season and was sent to Triple-A on a rehab assignment. Sims returned to the Cincinnati Reds bullpen in mid-April and has been one of the team's best relievers.
Lucas Sims has been one of manager David Bell's most reliable late-inning pitchers when his team has the lead. Sims looks like the player fans remember from his runs in both 2020 and 2021. With the back injury in the rearview mirror, Lucas Sims has proven. that his slow start in spring training was a fluke.