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 is happy, Braves happy to have him
Brandon Phillips is happy, Braves happy to have him

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – He was traded to the Braves just a couple of days before players began reporting to spring training, yet right away it seemed as if Brandon Phillips had always been part of the team, so seamless was the veteran second baseman’s transition to a new clubhouse. “Well, when you’ve got a personality like...
LEADOFF: How the Braves rank position by position
LEADOFF: How the Braves rank position by position

Baseball statistics/analytics website FanGraphs has posted its annual position-by-position power rankings for all 30 MLB teams – an interesting exercise because it measures each team’s personnel against the competition, rather than assessing it in a vacuum. The Braves’ lineup doesn’t score highly in the analysis. FanGraphs ranks...
Swanson focused on ‘process’ during spring training
Swanson focused on ‘process’ during spring training

By his own admission, Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson came into his second big league camp differently than last year, though his approach remains the same. “I don’t think the approach is different, just the circumstances are different,” said Swanson before the Braves faced the Mets on Sunday. “I try to always be the best version...
Braves sign reliever Hernandez; Chapman impresses
Braves sign reliever Hernandez; Chapman impresses

Just because spring camp closes down this week doesn’t mean the Braves are winnowing down their bullpen options. They appear, in fact, doing the opposite. The team signed right-handed reliever David Hernandez to a non-roster contract Sunday after San Francisco released him two days ago. Hernandez, 31, was 3-4 with a 3.84 ERA in 70 games for Philadelphia...
Braves’ Dickey has best spring outing, says he’s ready
Braves’ Dickey has best spring outing, says he’s ready

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – R.A. Dickey said all spring that he wasn’t concerned with results in Grapefruit League games, that it was only about how he felt in preparing for the season. The Braves knuckleballer said that when he got knocked around in several starts and said it again Saturday when he had his best spring performance. Dickey...
More Stories