LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – By the time his current team faces one of his former teams in a Friday afternoon Grapefruit League game, Braves knuckleballer R.A. Dickey will have already pitched and showered.
The Braves announced Thursday a change of plans for Friday, when they’ll start Lucas Sims against the Mets at 1 p.m. in Champion Stadium instead of Dickey, who’ll pitch in a 10 a.m. game against Braves minor leaguers on Field 4 behind the stadium.
The change was made for two reasons: Dickey and the Braves would prefer not to have him face a team he could face four to six times during the regular season, and it’s an opportunity to get another look at Sims facing whichever major league hitters the Mets have in their lineup.
“We know what Dickey can do, we just want to get another look at Lucas pretty much,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said.
Sims, 22, isn’t a candidate for the opening-day rotation. He’s pitched in two games this spring and allowed four hits and two runs in four innings with no walks and five strikeouts.
A first-round draft pick out of Brookwood High School 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 last season.