This rehabbing Reds pitcher could have unexpected impact in 2023

The Cincinnati Reds are expecting several hurlers to return during the second-half of the 2023 season.

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Vladimir Gutierrez
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Vladimir Gutierrez / Kirk Irwin/GettyImages
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Reds fans have been adamant that, at the upcoming MLB trade deadline, Cincinnati's front office needs to trade away some of the organization's prospects in order to add to the pitching staff.

But so many pitchers on the injured list, Nick Krall and his team may be able to avoid unloading the farm system in order to improve both the rotation and the bullpen. Perhaps the Cincinnati Reds' midseason acquisitions could come from within.

Hunter Greene should be back in the fold by mid-August with Nick Lodolo closely behind. Tejay Antone, the Reds best reliever in 2021, has been working his way back as well. But fans seem to forget about Vladimir Gutierrez.

Rehabbing Reds RHP Vladimir Gutierrez could have an unexpected impact in 2023.

Vladimir Gutierrez was one of the more promising young pitchers just over a year ago. Gutierrez was a surprise addition to the Cincinnati Reds rotation in 2021, going 9-6 with a 4.74 ERA in 22 starts. Gutierrez actually finished eighth in the National League Rookie of the Year voting that season.

While Gutierrez was used exclusively as a starter in 2021, his role with the Reds last season was much different. The right-hander appeared in 10 games, eight times as a starter, but Gutierrez struggled mightily during his second big league season.

Gutierrez's velocity took a downturn in 2022. According to Baseball Savant, his fastball dropped from 93.2 mph in 2021 to 92.8 mph in 2022. Though dip wasn't dramatic, Gutierrez just didn't look like the same pitcher who burst onto the scene during his rookie year.

Gutierrez was shutdown midway through the 2022 and underwent Tommy John surgery, eliminating any chance of the 27-year-old opening the 2023 season on the active roster. Gutierrez was placed on the 60-day IL prior to Opening Day, but has been rehabbing at the team's complex in Arizona.

According to MLB.com, Vladimir Gutierrez is scheduled to throw a simulated game today and will then prepare to take on a role in the Cincinnati Reds bullpen. Don't sleep on Gutrierrez being a sneaky-good addition to the Reds relief corps during the final month of the season as Cincinnati makes its push for the playoffs.

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