The Reds announced a series of moves in their bullpen before tonight’s game in Pittsburgh. Lucas Sims has been placed on the 15-day injured list, retroactive to yesterday, due to lower back spasms. Cincinnati selected Robert Dugger to take his spot on the roster. The Reds also optioned Dauri Moreta to Triple-A Louisville and recalled Jared Solomon.
Sims heads to the IL for the second time this year. The right-hander missed the first two weeks of the season after back spasms delayed his Spring Training ramp-up work. He made it back for six games in between the IL stints but looked out of sorts. Sims has allowed seven runs, walked six batters and struck out just five during 6 2/3 frames of work. Last season’s 4.40 ERA across 47 frames wasn’t great, but he punched out an elite 39% of opponents on a hefty 14.8% swinging strike rate.
This year, the 28-year-old’s swing-and-miss numbers are way down. That’s also true of his velocity, with his fastball, slider and curveball all losing a tick or two relative to last season. It certainly seems as if he’s yet to get completely right physically, and a new bout of back spasms will keep him out for at least the next two weeks.
Dugger returns to the majors just four days after being designated for assignment. The righty cleared outright waivers and accepted an assignment to Louisville yesterday. He didn’t appear in a game for the Bats before quickly being called back up. Cincinnati never filled Dugger’s 40-man roster spot after designating him and also removed COVID substitute Ronnie Dawson from the roster earlier this week; their 40-man tally now sits at 39.
During his first MLB stint with the Reds, Dugger made just one appearance. He soaked up three innings of relief, but that workload knocked him out of commission for a few days. Because he’s out of minor league option years, the Reds then removed him from the 40-man to clear an active roster spot. That was the second time he’d found himself in that situation, as the Rays also DFA Dugger following one extended relief outing. He’ll again have to stick in the majors or be exposed to waivers now that he’s back in the big leagues.