Cincinnati Reds: 3 prospects who should be added to the roster

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 11: A Cincinnati Reds helmet is seen on the ground during the game. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 11: A Cincinnati Reds helmet is seen on the ground during the game. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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Starting pitcher Vladimir Gutierrez #76 of the Cincinnati Reds throws.
GOODYEAR, ARIZONA – FEBRUARY 23: Starting pitcher Vladimir Gutierrez #76 of the Cincinnati Reds throws. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /

3. Vladimir Gutiérrez, Reds pitcher

This is it for Vladimir Gutiérrez. The right-hander signed for nearly $5M during the fall of 2016, but a series of events have led to this offseason being a make-or-break campaign for the Reds No. 17 ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline. During the 2019 season, Gutiérrez posted a 6.04 ERA and 1.401 WHIP while appearing in 27 starts for Triple-A Louisville.

In June, Gutiérrez was suspended for 80 games by MLB for PED use. After finding that Gutiérrez tested for using Stanozolol, he was left off the team’s 60-man player pool and didn’t get any work at the Cincinnati Reds alternate site in Mason, Ohio.

Gutiérrez will have to serve his suspension in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic eliminating the 2020 minor league season. To say that Gutiérrez’s future is up in the air would be an understatement. Without any progression in 2020 following an underwhelming 2019 season while staring down an 80-game suspension, Gutiérrez has the deck stacked against him.

Next. Reds could explore these additions at 1B

Still, there was something that the Reds scouts saw from Gutiérrez back in 2016 that led to the team giving him the equivalent of first-round bonus money. Gutiérrez has a lively fastball and a plus-changeup. Will the Reds give him an opportunity or is it too late for the 25-year-old native of Cuba?