Reds: Vladimir Gutierrez poised to replace Jeff Hoffman in starting rotation

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MAY 28: Vladimir Gutierrez #53 of the Cincinnati Reds throws a pitch. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MAY 28: Vladimir Gutierrez #53 of the Cincinnati Reds throws a pitch. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /
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Vladimir Gutierrez had an impressive debut in yesterday’s 1-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs. The right-hander made his first major league start on Friday and the rookie seems poised to stick in the Cincinnati Reds starting rotation, most likely as a long-term replacement for Jeff Hoffman.

Gutierrez was the lone bright spot for the Reds during yesterday’s loss. The frigid temperatures didn’t seen many balls leave thee yard. In fact, the lone home run came off the bat of David Bote who took Gutierrez deep in the fifth inning. Gutierrez finished with just 67 pitches over five innings, striking out three batters and walking just two.

Vladimir Gutierrez’s debut was impressive enough for the Reds to stick with him.

While many Reds fans will bemoan the team’s lack of run support lately, don’t forget that Cincinnati is missing Joey Votto, Mike Moustakas, and Nick Senzel at the moment. The bigger problem has been the Reds starting rotation.

Currently, Cincinnati starters rank 13th in the National League in ERA (4.67). Only the bottom-dwelling Pittsburgh Pirates (5.55 ERA) and Arizona Diamondbacks (4.95 ERA) have a higher earned run average.

The most alarming statistic may be the 101 free passes that the Cincinnati Reds starting staff has allowed. Jeff Hoffman leads the way with 27 walks. The next closest are the duo of Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray who each have allowed 19 base on balls. The Cincinnati faithful know all too well that walks will haunt.

Vladimir Gutierrez should replace Jeff Hoffman in the Reds rotation.

Following Jeff Hoffman’s exit from Wednesday’s game versus the Washington Nationals, the right-hander was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right shoulder injury. Luis Castillo is slated to go today in the afternoon tilt between the Reds and Cubs, and Tyler Mahle has been announced as Cincinnati’ starter for Sunday’s finale.

Wade Miley was announced as the Reds starting pitcher for Monday’s holiday trip to Philadelphia. That leads to the assumption that Gray will toe the rubber on Tuesday evening in the City of Brotherly Love, leaving Wednesday’s start up in the air.

The four day break paves the way for Vladimir Gutierrez to slide right in to the vacant slot and earn his second start of the 2021 season. In fact, if we see another solid outing from Gutierrez, Hoffman may want to pack his bags when he returns from the IL.

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Hoffman was never considered to be a mainstay in this year’s starting rotation, but early-season injuries to Sonny Gray and Michael Lorenzen made it necessary for David Bell to find a temporary replacement. With Gutierrez showing he’s up to the task, it’s time for Hoffman move aside.