Lucas Sims

Lucas Sims

28-Year-Old PitcherRP
Cincinnati Reds
Out
Injury Back
Est. Return 2/25/2023
2023 Fantasy Outlook
Sims entered 2022 looking like the favorite to close games for Cincinnati, but he recorded only a single save and was limited to just 6.2 innings across six appearances due to elbow issues and a herniated disc in his back. The back injury caused Sims serious pain and he even lost feeling in his foot before addressing the problem with season-ending surgery last July. Sims is one of the highest upside Reds relievers when healthy, but 2022 was his second straight season dealing with elbow problems. Back injuries are always worrisome for pitchers, so the 28-year-old is a risky fantasy bet for those seeking saves, especially since manager David Bell tends to spread opportunities around anyway. Monitor Sims' health throughout spring to determine if he's worth or spec or not this year, but don't expect double-digit saves. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
#589
ADP
$Signed a one-year, $1.2675 million contract with the Reds in January of 2023.
Avoids arbitration
PCincinnati Reds
Back
January 13, 2023
Sims (back) signed a one-year, $1.27 million contract with the Reds on Friday to avoid arbitration, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Sims' season was cut short in 2022 after undergoing season-ending surgery on his back, and the 6.2 innings he managed to pitch early in the year weren't pretty (9.45 ERA, 1.65 WHIP). It's possible he'll work his way back into the closer role Cincinnati had planned for him going into 2022, though it may take a while before he gets there.
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Pitching Stats
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2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2022 MLB Game Log
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2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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Pitching Appearances Breakdown
Average Pitch Count
22
Last 10 Games
22
Last 5 Games
22
How many pitches does Lucas Sims generally throw?
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
What part of the game does Lucas Sims generally pitch?
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
% Games Reaching Innings Threshold
% Games By Number of Innings Pitched
Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2020
 
 
-12%
BAA vs LHP
2022
 
 
-53%
BAA vs LHP
2021
 
 
-11%
BAA vs RHP
2020
 
 
-38%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2020vs Left .171 149 56 18 21 1 0 7
Since 2020vs Right .195 174 56 17 30 16 0 2
2022vs Left .125 13 1 3 1 0 0 0
2022vs Right .267 18 4 3 4 2 0 0
2021vs Left .214 85 33 11 15 0 0 4
2021vs Right .190 110 43 7 19 11 0 2
2020vs Left .111 51 22 4 5 1 0 3
2020vs Right .179 46 9 7 7 3 0 0
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2020
 
 
-3%
ERA on Road
2022
 
 
-83%
ERA at Home
2021
 
 
-38%
ERA on Road
2020
 
 
-19%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2020Home 4.33 1.13 35.1 4 1 1 11.5 3.6 0.8
Since 2020Away 4.22 1.08 42.2 5 2 7 14.3 4.4 1.3
2022Home 3.86 1.29 4.2 1 0 1 7.7 3.9 0.0
2022Away 22.50 2.50 2.0 0 0 0 4.5 18.0 0.0
2021Home 5.68 1.05 19.0 1 1 0 11.8 3.3 0.9
2021Away 3.54 1.14 28.0 4 2 7 16.4 3.5 1.3
2020Home 2.31 1.20 11.2 2 0 0 12.3 3.9 0.8
2020Away 2.84 0.71 12.2 1 0 0 11.4 4.3 1.4
More Splits View More Split Stats
Stat Review
How does Lucas Sims compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 innings)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 30 IP). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • K/BB
    Strikeout to walk ratio.
  • K/9
    Average strikeouts per nine innings.
  • BB/9
    Average walks per nine innings.
  • HR/9
    Average home runs allowed per nine innings.
  • Fastball
    Average fastball velocity.
  • ERA
    Earned run average. The average earned runs allowed per nine innings.
  • WHIP
    Walks plus hits per inning pitched.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many balls in play against a pitcher go for hits.
  • GB/FB
    Groundball to flyball ratio. The higher the number, the more likely a pitcher is to induce groundballs.
  • Left On Base
    The percentage of base runners that a pitcher strands on base over the course of a season.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Barrels/BBE
    The percentage of batted ball events resulting in a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Spin Rate
    Spin Rate is the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Balls Hit 95+ MPH
    The percentage of batted balls hit that met or exceeded the 95 MPH threshold.
  • Swinging Strike
    The percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss.
K/BB
0.83
 
K/9
6.8
 
BB/9
8.1
 
HR/9
0.0
 
Fastball
93.5 mph
 
ERA
9.45
 
WHIP
1.65
 
BABIP
.266
 
GB/FB
2.50
 
Left On Base
36.4%
 
Exit Velocity
79.9 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
5.4%
 
Spin Rate
2737 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
18.9%
 
Swinging Strike
7.0%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
Armed with some of the best spin rates in the league, Sims finally got a taste of Cincinnati's closer role in 2021. He split chances early in the season with Amir Garrett, but the latter was awful and Sims got run as the Reds primary closer in late-May. He ripped off five saves in two weeks and appeared to be gaining momentum in the role until suffering an elbow sprain in June that sidelined him until mid-August. He took a few lumps upon his return and did not record another save for the rest of the season, but finished 2021 with a 4.40 ERA, seven saves, nine holds and a career-high 14.6 K/9. His estimators (2.99 FIP, 2.55 xERA) suggest he was unlucky in that department. Reds manager David Bell used 10 different relievers in the ninth inning last year, and while Sims was successful in his audition for the closer role, there's no guarantee he lands the job. He's unlikely to be ready for Opening Day due to back and elbow issues but should certainly be in the conversation for save chances once he's healthy.
All that spin-rate promise was realized in 2020 as Sims finished with a 2.45 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 34:11 K:BB in 25.2 innings for the Reds. Sims was truly elite in terms of Statcast expected outcomes, ranking in the top 2% of the league in xwOBA, xERA, xBA and xSLG. He was also in the top 2% in barrel rate. Some ERA estimators will ding him for a 10.7 BB% and .192 BABIP -- Sims had a 3.70 FIP and 4.06 xFIP in 2020 -- but it's clear that Sims' success was largely deserved. Sims' opponents should not be expected to hit all that much closer to league average against a pitcher who has great rising movement on his four-seamer and more breaking-ball spin than any pitcher in the game. The closer job looks open in Cincinnati with Raisel Iglesias traded and Sims is a threat to run away with the job, though lefty Amir Garrett is another viable closing candidate. A tandem situation would make sense, at least to start.
A first-round draft pick in 2012 (21st overall), Sims was dealt from Atlanta to Cincinnati as part of the Adam Duvall trade in 2018. He worked exclusively as a starter at Triple-A Louisville and mostly out of the bullpen at the big-league level last season, totaling 122 innings between the two stops. While the results leave something to be desired, Sims looks to have a future as a major-league reliever. His four-seam fastball averaged a modest 93.6 mph in 2019, but Sims has one of the highest spin rates in the game on the heater and the curveball as well. All that spin helped him to a strong 32.2 K% in his debut with the Reds. He's always been a flyball pitcher and was extreme in that regard last season (56.7 FB%), which is not ideal in this current run environment. Sims is out of minor-league options and will have to figure the rest out on the job while working in the middle innings.
Sims came over to the Reds in the Adam Duvall deal at the trade deadline last year, having stagnated in the Braves' organization. Upon arriving at Triple-A Louisville, Sims performed well over 28 innings, with a 32:5 K:BB ratio, albeit at the cost of five homers allowed. The Reds called him up in September but he had to be shut down after three appearances thanks to a strained teres major in his upper right arm. Like many in the organization, Sims is a flawed pitching prospect with an uncertain role. He is not without pedigree (first-round pick in 2012) and won't turn 25 until May. However, the Reds seem to be looking to speed up their rebuild, and therefore won't give him a long leash as a starter if he can help out of the big-league bullpen.
After opening the 2017 season toiling for Triple-A Gwinnett, recording a 3.75 ERA and 1.14 WHIP with 132 strikeouts and 36 walks in 115.1 innings, Sims made his major-league debut for the Braves on August 1, appearing in 14 games (10 starts). Results were mixed as the right-hander's strikeout rate was a pedestrian 17 percent with a high nine percent walk rate. As a flyball pitcher, Sims needs to limit free passes to minimize damage done by the inevitable homers he allows. Not overpowering with a fastball velocity in the 91-93 mph range, Sims uses five pitches, all more than 10 percent of the time, including a sinker, slider, curveball and changeup. This repertoire plays as a starter if he can hone control so batters don't know what to expect. While Sims is still just 23 years old, he's one of several young arms the Braves are hoping to emerge as rotation staples. A solid spring could earn Sims a rotation spot, with a bullpen role as the fallback.
While Sims has featured a plus fastball and plus curveball for several years now, his inability to find the strike zone over the past couple seasons flipped his realistic outlook from mid-rotation starter to high-leverage reliever. He completely changed that narrative in a return trip to Triple-A in 2017, posting a 7.7 percent walk rate -- his lowest mark over a significant stretch as a professional. That drastic improvement has earned him a look in the big-league rotation, but he will only have a limited amount of time to show those command/control gains are legitimate, as the Braves have a host of more highly acclaimed pitching prospects who will be ready at some point in 2018, with more on the way in 2019. If Sims can prove to be pitch efficient and keep the walks in a manageable range, he has the stuff to post average or better strikeout rates as a starter. If he gets squeezed out, he will be on the short list of potential Braves closers in 2019 and beyond.
A freak hip injury, suffered in a team bus crash while with High-A Carolina, cost Sims nearly seven weeks of the season. Once cleared to return, Sims joined Double-A Mississippi rather than return to Carolina, and while the results were generally strong in nine starts for Mississippi, control issues continued to plague him. The 21-year-old showed improvement in that regard during the Arizona Fall League, issuing just three passes while fanning 17 in 17 innings, earning the start for the West in the Fall Stars game. Sims flashes two potential plus pitches (fastball and curveball) and mixes in a changeup, but the control will have to stabilize before he's given a chance in the major league rotation, and there are questions as to whether he can stick in the rotation long-term. He will attend camp as a non-roster invitee but figures to open the year back at Double-A with a chance to contribute later in the year.
The move up to High-A Lynchburg in 2014 came with a steep learning curve -- he posted a 5.00 ERA and a dismal 38:25 K:BB in 72 first-half innings -- but Sims showed the type of promise late in the year that made him the 21st overall pick in the 2012 first-year player draft. Sims was able to miss bats at a much higher clip in the second half (69 strikeouts in 84.2 innings) while seeing only a slight uptick in walks (from 3.1 BB/9 to 3.4), resulting in a 3.51 ERA after the All-Star break and 2.88 ERA in August. The right-hander's curveball and changeup are still developing behind his 93-95 mph fastball, but Sims has the potential to feature three plus offerings at the major league level, giving him claim to being the Braves' top pitching prospect in many minds. New president of baseball operations John Hart seems to be looking several years ahead, so the team will likely take its time with Sims, meaning a jump to Double-A Mississippi early in 2015 is not necessarily a given.
Considered the top pitching prospect in the Braves organization, Sims was dominant in his first season at Low-A Rome (2.62 ERA, 10.3 K/9, 3.5 BB/9). When the 2014 season opens, Sims will still be just 19 years old, and while those in dynasty leagues will likely want to pick him up, those in re-draft leagues can leave him be, as it's hard to imagine he'd get a run with the big club in 2014, given the team's pitching depth. It's believed that Sims could be future option in the front of the Atlanta rotation, however, so patience in dynasty formats could pay significant dividends.
The Braves' 2012 first-round draft pick won't be contributing to non-keeper fantasy teams anytime soon. Even in keeper leagues, it is probably worthwhile to wait a couple years to see how he develops. Sims is still a teenager, after all, and has only played rookie ball in his brief career. Sims features a fastball that sits in the low-to-mid-90s and a good changeup. He was also lauded for his control in his high school career. High school draftees always sound great and by all means they are immensely talented, but many flame out in the lower rungs of the minors when they face more advanced competition. He'll likely see time at Low-A Rome for his first full professional season in 2013.
More Fantasy News
Set for season-ending surgery
PCincinnati Reds
Back
July 1, 2022
Sims will undergo season-ending surgery to address a herniated disc in his back, Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
ANALYSIS
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Transferred to 60-day IL
PCincinnati Reds
Back
June 17, 2022
Sims (back) was transferred to the 60-day injured list Friday.
ANALYSIS
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Set to begin throwing program
PCincinnati Reds
Back
May 24, 2022
Reds manager David Bell said Sims (back) will begin a throwing program Tuesday or Wednesday, Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
ANALYSIS
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Not yet throwing
PCincinnati Reds
Back
May 18, 2022
Sims (back) has yet to resume a throwing program and won't return from the 15-day injured list when first eligible May 26, Charlie Goldsmith of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
ANALYSIS
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Dealing with bulging disc in back
PCincinnati Reds
Back
May 12, 2022
Sims is dealing with a bulging disc in his back, Charlie Goldsmith of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
ANALYSIS
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