3 Reds who’ve made the biggest statements this spring

Cincinnati Reds right fielder Nick Castellanos (2) attempt to leg out a ground ball.
Cincinnati Reds right fielder Nick Castellanos (2) attempt to leg out a ground ball. /
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Cincinnati Reds pitcher Vladimir Gutierrez pitches.
Mar 9, 2021; Goodyear, Arizona, USA; Cincinnati Reds pitcher Vladimir Gutierrez pitches. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

Vladimir Gutierrez, Reds right-handed pitcher

Were it not for the suspension, Vladimir Gutierrez would be in mix for a spot in the Cincinnati Reds starting rotation. Unfortunately, Gutierrez was busted for using performance-enhancing drugs, and was given an 80-game suspension. Gutierrez was a non-roster invitee last spring, but the front office has high hopes for Gutierrez after adding him to the 40-man roster this winter.

Gutierrez was signed out of Cuba in 2016 for $4.75M. The 25-year-old is ranked as the team’s No. 14 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, and has been quite impressive this spring. The right-hander has pitched in four games, including one start. Gutierrez has been lights-out, posting a 0.00 ERA, allowing just two hits and striking out eight batters over five innings while walking just one.

Gutierrez will not start the season with the Reds, as he still has 18 games remaining on his suspension. However, once he’s eligible to return, don’t bee shocked if Gutierrez cracks the Cincinnati rotation.

There’s been so many question marks surrounding this year’s starting staff, that it’s not out of the realm of possibilities for Vladimir Gutierrez to sneak in for a spot start here and there and eventually secure a spot pitching every fifth day.

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However, if Michael Lorenzen and Wade Miley are able to lockdown their respective spots in the starting rotation, Gutierrez’s fastball/ curveball combo could play well out of the bullpen. Look for Gutierrez to make his big league debut at some point this season.