Lucas Sims' spring struggles are nothing to be concerned about

Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Lucas Sims
Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Lucas Sims / The Cincinnati Enquirer-USA TODAY
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After missing nearly all of the 2022 season, Cincinnati Reds reliever Lucas Sims is back. But the right-hander has really struggled during spring training.

In six Cactus League appearances this month, Sims has a hefty 18.00 ERA and has allowed two home runs while walking three batters and striking out seven in five innings of work. Sims has also allowed 11 hits and opponents are hitting over .400 against him.

Those numbers are not promising, to be sure, but it's exhibition baseball. Let's not overreact. Do Sims' struggles this spring actually mean anything?

Lucas Sims' spring struggles are nothing to be concerned about.

Honestly, so long as Lucas Sims is feeling good, that's all that matters this spring. The right-hander made only six relief appearances last season after being the year on the IL due to back spasms.

Sims then debuted in late-April, but it was painfully obvious that he wasn't himself. But the Atlanta native is a gamer and he gutted it out as long as he could. But after a 1.2 inning performance against the Milwaukee Brewers in early-May, Sims hit the IL and never made it back.

Sims underwent surgery to repair a bulging disc in his lower back and didn't even get back to pitching until this last fall. The fact that Sims is back on the bump for Cactus League games this spring is, in itself, a great sign.

The Cincinnati Reds need Lucas Sims to provide some stability to an area of the team that really hasn't had it. Sims was a key piece of the Reds bullpen in 2020, and though he pitched well at times in 2021, the numbers just weren't as good.

Sims will have a different role with the team in 2023. With Alexis Diaz the unquestioned closer, Sims can go back to being the team's setup man, a role he flourished in back during the 2020 season.

With Tejay Antone, Justin Dunn, and Tony Santillan already headed to the IL to begin the 2023 season, the Reds are hoping to see a healthy Sims back on the bump during the upcoming season.

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