If you’re active on Twitter, you might have seen a little shade (actually a lot of shade) thrown on the Braves pitching developmental staff by former farmhand Lucas Sims.
Sims, who is now a member of the Cincinatti Reds after the Braves dealt him in the trade for Adam Duvall, is finally starting to enjoy some major league success after a couple of rough years with Atlanta as a youngster. The Reds have turned him into a full-time reliever, and so far this season, he has a 1.23 ERA over seven appearances (7.1 innings), which has Braves fans wondering — where was this when he was in Atlanta? Here is how he responded.
Now, could Sims have taken the high road and let this go — absolutely. It’s not like he’s really proven anything in seven innings of work in a shortened season where it’s expected for the hitters to take a little while to catch up, which we’ve seen so far early on. But I don’t want to focus on the salt here by Sims. Instead, I want to know if he’s making a fair point.
Last year, our Harrison Coburn brought up the issue, asking if the Braves have a pitching development problem? And he made some excellent points.
This whole rebuild was built on pitching. The Braves spent all of their draft picks on pitching and were continually looking for ways to flip their major league talent for pitching prospects, and to this point, only two of them have panned out — Mike Soroka and Max Fried. That’s not all that surprising, but what is a little worrisome is how the prospects that have left the organization have found success — at least more than they had with the Braves — elsewhere. Lucas Sims is an example; Kolby Allard has been surprisingly good early on for the Rangers, and Joey Wentz looked much better in his five starts for the Tigers last year in AA than he did with the Braves.
It is a small sample size for these guys, and the Braves seem to have made two aces already, with plenty of more young arms on the horizon. However, it’s interesting to see a former prospect make a comment like this. Perhaps it’s nothing more than salt; I’d have a chip on my shoulder too if I got traded so early in my career. But if this next batch of prospects doesn’t pan out, maybe there’s some truth behind what Sims has to say.
Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire