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.

11 Responses

  1. matt hendley

    Good and interesting Post. Obviously, the Reds are attempting to Win Both DH games on Monday. If Lucas Sims is brought up he should be given a legitimate chance to stick in the rotation. Both Mahle and Disco are teetering on the border of ineffectiveness. Whether one of them needs a Louisville tuneup or even just a little bit of competition, it is good to see that this option is being explored. Of course, if that’s not the case then I am going to jump the gun on everyone else’s suggesting and say Lorenzen should get the spot start.

    • Big Ed

      Before yesterday’s game, Mahle had yielded 6 ER over his past 4 starts (23.1 IP) for an ERA of 2.31. 2 of the ER were given up in the 7th inning against SF. I will take that kind of teetering all season.

      I agree with you that Lorenzen deserves another shot at starting. His power and repertoire should fit as a starter.

      • Bryan Clark

        Wind was blowing out during the time Mahle was pitching. Easy to hit a homerun.

      • Pete

        Bryan, unfortunately I expect fairly major regression for the pitching staff. The weather is warming up, we play in a division with three very good hitting teams (Cards, Cubs, Brewers) and we may have been pitching above reasonable expectations. All this being said the FO should do all they can avert this: call up Reed and make sure Disco is physically well.

        Yesterday could have easily been a 12-10 game with the Wrigley wind blowing out and if it’s the same today don’t expect a pitching dual.

  2. Ron Payne

    Any chance the Reds would go after Kimbrel? That would possibly give Lorenzen a chance to take Disco’s spot in the rotation.

    Would like to see what Sims can do, if he’s the guy on Tuesday.

  3. Hotto4Votto

    Is part of the reason the Reds are doing this move, is to have the 26th man be an additional reliever? If Sims started he’d be the 26th man called up for the DH, but if they start him Tuesday, it means they can call up a reliever Monday as the extra guy. Then I’d guess they could could send a reliever down for Tuesday (back to a seven man pen for a day) and then option Sims back down Wednesday and bring a different reliever back up?

    I’d like to see them recall Reed for the DH on Monday.
    Option Peralta on Tuesday and recall Sims.
    Option Sims on Wednesday and recall Reed, which I think should be allowed without having to sit 10 days because Reed would have been the 26th man.

    • MFG

      Wandy needs to be sent down. Mahle has pitched well enough to stay here. Disco needs to be replaced I have seen enough. Lorenzen is to valuable in the bullpen and the Reds rely on their bullpen allot. What to do with Hughes? Amir our future closer?

  4. Shchi Cossack

    With the same baseballs being used in MLB and AAA, the comparison of pitchers becomes more apples to apples, with the obvious talent level caveat. The Tuesday game could become very interesting.

    Anthony DeSclafani:
    4.99 ERA; 2.4 HR/9; 9.6 SO/9; 3.1 BB/9; 3.06 SO/W

    Lucas Sims:
    4.47 ERA; 1.2 HR/9; 12.8 SO/9; 3.2 BB/9; 3.94 SO/W

    As Doug points out, Sims’s production is moving in a positive direction while DeSclafani’s production is moving in a negative direction.

    With a positive performance by Sims on Tuesday, another negative performance by DeSclafani on Wednesday and an off day on Thursday, DeSclafani could find himself optioned to AAA with the starting rotation reset on Friday to: Mahle, Roark, Castillo, Gray & Sims

    • RojoBenjy

      What about Desclafani to mop up man, and let Stephenson get stretched out to start down in AAA?

      Or has the starting ship for Stephenson done sailed away?

  5. Centerfield

    I believe Stephenson is out of options. The Reds could start him on a Tuesday bullpen day and see how deep into a game he can go. He really needs a third pitch and is prone to high pitch counts – 32 for one inning last time out. A bullpen game is entirely dependent on getting some length from both starters on Monday.