The writing was on the wall. Vladimir Gutierrez, who showed great promise in 2021, will now be moved to the Cincinnati Reds bullpen. This is a path that so many Reds pitchers have had to face over the last few years.
It was revealed by manager David Bell that Gutierrez will no longer be part of the starting rotation. But, instead of optioning Gutierrez to Triple-A Louisville, the right-hander will now be part of the Reds bullpen.
Gutierrez has looked nothing like the promising, young rookie hurler that Cincinnati saw in 2021. Last season, Gutierrez posted a respectable 4.74 ERA while going 9-6. But this season, the right-hander is 0-5 with an ERA of 8.65.
Vladimir Gutierrez leads the league in hit batsmen and earned runs. Gutierrez's ERA+ of 53 is nothing to write home about and the 26-year-old has the same number of strikeouts as he does walks.
Reds make the correct move shifting Vladimir Gutierrez to the bullpen.
The Cincinnati Reds have done this before. We've seen the likes fo Raisel Iglesias, Amir Garrett, and Michael Lorenzen all be given an opportunity to excel as a starter only to see them fall short and eventually wind up in the bullpen.
Lucas Sims is a more recent example, and it's very likely that Reiver Sanmartin becomes a left-handed reliever. Sanmartin, much like Gutierrez, has shown this season that he does not belong in the starting rotation. Sanmartin is 0-4 with a 13.78 ERA and is currently on the Reds Triple-A roster.
David Bell mentioned (via MLB.com) that this may not a permanent move. However, with players like Graham Ashcraft and Brandon Williamson likely to make their major league debut, it's going to be tough for Vladimir Gutierrez to find his way back.
"We told him we love having him on the team and know he can help us win games I’m [excited] to see him pitch out of the bullpen, but that does not mean this is a long-term decision. He could easily go back into the rotation."- David Bell, Reds manager