The Cincinnati Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates will play a double header on Monday at Great American Ballpark. The team announced on Saturday that they would be pitching Luis Castillo in game 1. In game 2 they will go to Sonny Gray. Both of those guys have been in the rotation all year long, so it’s not surprising that they’ll start. What this does do, is tell us that the game on Tuesday isn’t going to have a normal starter.
Whether that means that the Reds are going to call someone up from Triple-A, or whether that means that they will go with a “bullpen day” on Tuesday is the bigger question. Signs seem to point to the call up from Triple-A option. Lucas Sims, who would normally be pitching today in Louisville for the Bats on a regular schedule, is not pitching. For now, the signs point to him being the starter on Tuesday.
If it is Lucas Sims that gets the nod on Tuesday against Pittsburgh, it will be his 2019 debut in the Majors. The 25-year-old has pitched in 23 big league games during his career. Three of those were last season with the Reds in September. He’s spent all of this season in Triple-A with the Bats where his ERA sits at 4.06. That doesn’t sound great on the surface, but the league average ERA this season for the International League is 4.90 – so he’s well above-average for the league.
Another area where he’s been well above-average has been at generating strikeouts. He leads the league with 63 strikeouts in just 44.1 innings. That’s good for a 33% strikeout rate. He’s walked 16 batters, which is solid, but doesn’t stand out.
After a very tough start to end April where he allowed 6 earned in 1.1 innings with 3 walks and just 1 strikeout, Sims has been very good in May. The right-handed pitcher has thrown 23.0 innings with 7 walks and 28 strikeouts to go along with a 2.74 ERA on the month. He’s also held hitters to a .220/.278/.341 line during that time.