The 2022 season is one that Cincinnati Reds reliever Lucas Sims would just as soon forget. Sims made just six appearances out of the Reds bullpen, but was struggling with a back injury.
Sims made it through just 6.2 innings of work before being shutdown permanently for the 2022 season after undergoing surgery for a bulging disc in his back.
Sims began throwing again this past offseason and came into spring training healthy. It took him a little extra time to ramp up, but the right-hander was back in the Cincinnati bullpen on August 19th. The results have been sensational.
Lucas Sims & Alexis Diaz are forming an intimidating 1-2 punch in the Reds bullpen.
Lucas Sims has appeared in six games so far this season and has yet to allow a run. Sims has been so good that he's only allowed one hit. The right-hander has seven punch outs to just two walks, and outside of Alexis Diaz, has been the Cincinnati Reds best reliever so far this season.
Diaz has looked very good in his own right. The right-hander has 19 strikeouts in 11 appearances out of the Reds bullpen and is 4-for-4 in save opportunities so far this season.
The Reds bullpen has been the team's Achilles heel for the past several seasons. But a backend of Sims and Diaz would be an imposing 1-2 punch in the eighth and ninth innings.
From 2020-2022, the Milwaukee Brewers were able to rely upon the duo of Josh Hader and Devin Williams late in games. If the Brewers had the lead late, chances were good that opposing teams weren't coming back.
Hader was traded to the San Diego Padres last summer and Williams has since been installed as the Brewers closer, but for over two seasons, those two wreaked havoc on the National League Central Division
Could the duo of Alexis Diaz and Lucas Sims bring that same type of success to the Queen City? So far, the two Cincinnati Reds relievers combined for a 26 strikeouts and a combined ERA of 1.84.