The regular season begins in two weeks. Relievers Amir Garrett and Lucas Sims have not yet pitched in a single game for the Cincinnati Reds. The two players that seem to be the leaders for “most likely to close games for the Reds in 2021” not having pitched in a game yet with just two weeks until Opening Day seems like it’s less than ideal. And truthfully, it is less than ideal – the Reds, Garrett, and Sims all would likely prefer that they would have pitched in games at this point. That’s going to happen this weekend, though.
Both Amir Garrett and Lucas Sims threw live batting practice sessions on Wednesday. Both relievers said that they went well, too. That’s a good first step. The next step for each is pitching on Saturday. Garrett said that he will be pitching in a “B” game on Saturday, while Sims said he was also pitching on Saturday, but wasn’t sure if his game was an “A” or “B” game.
“Yeah,” said Garrett when asked if he believed he’d be ready for the start of the season. “I don’t really like pitching a lot in spring training. I’ve been throwing a lot of bullpens. Yesterday I was at 92-94, that’s really good for where I’m at right now – that was with no adrenaline. The way my body’s holding up, I think I’ll be alright. I don’t like pitching in too many games anyways, because I pitch a lot during the season.”
While the lefty said he didn’t like pitching a lot in spring training, he certainly is getting his work in. He’s been working on a pitch this spring to help him pitch even better against lefties.
“A 2-seam into lefties,” said Garrett about what he’s been working on. “I think that’ll be a pitch that’ll give me a lot more ground balls. That’s a pitch I can actually stick inside to a lefty – I use that to righties a lot, too, but that’s a pitch I feel like I can get inside instead of having a 4-seam. My 4-seam I try to go inside, usually I miss over the plate. With a 2-seam I can go in as much as I want and that’ll be the spot I want it to go.”
As for Lucas Sims, he too believes that he will be ready to go for Opening Day despite having not yet pitched in a game.
“I’m very confident at this point,” Sims said about whether he’d be ready to go. “I think this is my first spring training kind of going in knowing that I don’t need to be ready to throw 3-4-5 innings and get stretched out. You’re really just worried about sharpness and execution. I really don’t feel like I missed a beat. I feel sharp, I feel crisp, and I’m healthy. I get back on the mound on Saturday – I’m not exactly sure what the plan is, but I know I’m getting back on the bump on Saturday. I bounced back really well, I feel good today and getting ready to get this thing rolling.”
Things really get rolling in two weeks. For the Reds, Lucas Sims, and Amir Garrett – they all hope things are rolling in the right direction when the regular season gets started against the St. Louis Cardinals on April 1st.