You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

Lucas Sims gets mixed results in first spring start

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – After the disappointment of his 2016 season and particularly his first stint in Triple-A, Braves minor league pitcher Lucas Sims is trying to re-establish himself as a highly regarded prospect.

The way the former Brookwood High School start sees it, the project begins above the neck.

“I did a lot of thinking this offseason, a lot of self-evaluation and really kind of worked on between the ears a little bit,” Sims said Friday, after allowing four hits, two runs and no walks with two strikeouts in three innings of a Grapefruit League start against the Mets at Champion Stadium.

The Braves got home runs from Brandon Phillips, Matt Tuiasosopo and Adonis Garcia in the 5-2 win.

He’s not a candidate for the opening-day rotation, but Sims, 22, got a start after the Braves decided to pitch veteran knuckleballer R.A. Dickey in a minor league intrasquad game Friday, rather than have the veteran knuckleballer face a National League East rival he might see four to six times against this season.

Sims pitched in two spring-training games before Friday and has given up eight hits and four runs in seven innings, with no walks with seven strikeouts.

After giving up three hits and two runs to the first five batters Friday, including a Michael Conforto double, Sims recorded seven outs in his last seven batters, giving up one hit in that span and immediately inducing a ground-ball double play.

“I kind of got it handed to me a lot last year,” Sims said, “and I wanted to strengthen my mind — mental toughness — and show what I’m capable of. Show that I can learn from last year and I’m capable of better things.”

A first-round draft pick out of Brookwood in 2012, Sims hasn’t pitched in the majors and was a combined 7-11 with a 4.40 ERA in 28 games (27 starts) in Double-A and Triple-A in 2016, including 2-6 with a 7.92 ERA in 11 games (10 starts) at Triple-A Gwinnett.

“I expected a little bit more out of myself (Friday), but there’s some positives and some negatives,” he said. “Take that and learn from it, move on to whenever I get to pitch again. … I went into the game trying to be aggressive. That was my mindset — be aggressive, pound the zone. I could have executed a little bit better.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Atlanta Braves

Brandon Phillips leaves game with injury
Brandon Phillips leaves game with injury

NEW YORK – Hot-hitting Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips left Wednesday night’s game against the Mets with a left groin strain, but manager Brian Snitker said the injury wasn’t believed to be serious. Phillips was hurt while sliding at second base on a stole-base attempt in the Braves’ five-run first inning. He played the...
Freeman: Phillips in 2-hole good, Dansby will be fine
Freeman: Phillips in 2-hole good, Dansby will be fine

NEW YORK – Brandon Phillips was in the second spot in the Braves lineup ahead of slugger Freddie Freeman for the second consecutive game Wednesday, while rookie Dansby Swanson was in the eighth position for the third time in a row since being dropped from the 2-hole after his early season slump. As Freeman saw it, having hot-hitting veteran Phillips...
Dickey vs. Syndergaard matchup focuses attention on 2012 trade
Dickey vs. Syndergaard matchup focuses attention on 2012 trade

NEW YORK – R.A. Dickey was greeted warmly by Mets fans when the Braves played at Citi Field on opening day, and why wouldn’t he be? Dickey won the Cy Young Award after a 20-win season with the Mets in 2012, then was the centerpiece of a trade to the Blue Jays that brought a pitching prospect named Noah Syndergaard to the Mets along with...
LEADOFF: Are Braves as bad as the power rankings say?
LEADOFF: Are Braves as bad as the power rankings say?

Three sets of “power rankings” this week deem the Braves the worst team in the major leagues, at least for the moment. The latest weekly rankings by Sports Illustrated, USA Today and Fox Sports peg the Braves No. 30 out of the 30 MLB teams. Meanwhile, and Bleacher Report have the Braves No. 28 and No. 29...
Snitker on Braves’ 6-12 start: No need to blow it up
Snitker on Braves’ 6-12 start: No need to blow it up

NEW YORK – After being swept at Philadelphia and having an off day Monday in New York, the Braves had even more time to think about the disappointing 6-12 start to their season when their Tuesday night series opener against the Mets got rained out. But it wasn’t as if any of them was panicking or thinking about jumping off the Triborough...
More Stories