A healthy Lucas Sims can be a difference-maker out of the Reds bullpen in 2023

Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Lucas Sims (39) reacts to a pitch.
Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Lucas Sims (39) reacts to a pitch. / Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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While the roster reconstruction certainly dominated the conversation throughout the Cincinnati Reds' 2022 season, injuries took their toll as well.

Sure, even with a healthy roster, the Reds were unlikely to contend for a playoff spot. But one has to assume that devestating number of injuries Cincinnati suffered last season helped pave the way for a 100-loss campaign.

One player who the Reds desperately will want to see return healthy in 2023 is reliever Lucas Sims. The right-hander, who wasn't healthy in spring training, suited up for just six games in 2022. A healthy Sims could be a difference-maker next season.

A healthy Lucas Sims can be a difference-maker out of the Reds bullpen.

The Cincinnati Reds knew that they'd be without highly-regarded reliever Tejay Antone in 2022. The right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery last summer and the club is hopeful that Antone will return ready for action next spring.

But the Reds didn't expect to be without Tony Santillan, Jeff Hoffman, Vladimir Gutierrez, and Lucas Sims for the majority of last season; all four ended the 2022 season on the 60-day IL. After the production that Cincinnati received from Sims last season, the Reds will be eager to have the 28-year-old back in the fold next year.

Fans quickly forget that heading into last season, especially after the trade of Amir Garrett, Sims was likely to be in the mix to be the Reds closer. After all, in 2021, Sims posted a 3.00 FIP, converted seven of 10 save opportunities, and racked up 76 punch outs.

Alexis Diaz has take the mantle of closer heading into 2023, but the backend of the bullpen will be dependent on the resurgence of Lucas Sims and Tejay Antone. Both right-handers could be a force in the seventh or eighth inning.

While all eyes will be on Antone after a year away following surgery, don't let Sims get lost in the shuffle. The right-hander's fastball/ breaking ball combo can be quite deadly.

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