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Reds: Vladimir Gutierrez impressed, but ran out of gas in 2021

CINCINNATI, OHIO - AUGUST 22: Vladimir Gutierrez #53 of the Cincinnati Reds throws a pitch. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - AUGUST 22: Vladimir Gutierrez #53 of the Cincinnati Reds throws a pitch. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
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Cincinnati Reds pitcher Vladimir Gutierrez had a great rookie campaign in 2021, but like a lot of first-year pitchers, he hit a wall down the stretch. While Gutierrez had previously thrown more than the 114 innings he did last season, the COVID-19 pandemic surely limited his preparation for the season. Let’s put a grade on Gutierrez’s 2021 season.

Gutierrez made his major league debut for the Reds after three starts at Triple-A Louisville. After serving the remainder of his 80-game suspension for PED use in 2020, Gutierrez went 17 innings for the Bats, struck out 21, and owned a 2.65 ERA.

With Cincinnati losing so many hurlers to injury (Wade Miley, Sonny Gray, Michael Lorenzen, etc.), it was imperative the the team receive solid contributions from some of their young pitching prospects. Both Gutierrez and Tony Santillan performed well in 2021.

Vladimir Gutierrez posted solid number for the Reds in 2021.

It was a tale of two halves for Vladimir Gutierrez in 2021. The right-hander came out of the gates smoking-hot. In his first 16 starts, Gutierrez went 9-4 with a 3.68 ERA and 73 strikeouts over 93 innings pitched.

Unfortunately, Gutierrez never got that elusive 10th win of the season. The 25-year-old never went beyond the fifth inning after his start against the Marlins on August 22nd. Gutierrez’s final six games saw him go 0-2 with a 9.43 ERA and just 15 punch outs over 21 innings.

It just seemed like Vladimir Gutierrez ran out of gas down the stretch. While it’s true that the 131 innings Gutierrez pitched were his fewest since 2017, the fact remains that pitching at the big league level is a different animal. Not to mention, the right-hander was sidelined last season due to the coronavirus pandemic and his PED suspension.

Next. 5 Reds who exceeded expectations in 2021

I’m going to hand Vladimir Gutierrez a solid B for his rookie campaign with the Cincinnati Reds. The starting rotation is likely to undergo some changes this offseason, and Gutierrez will be firmly entrenched in the conversation when pitchers and catchers report to Goodyear next February.

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