Vladimir Gutierrez is being moved to the bullpen. That was the word out of Pittsburgh this afternoon, with manager David Bell telling Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer that Gutierrez is heading to the bullpen and that Connor Overton would be remaining in the rotation.

Cincinnati has off days on May 16th and May 19th. That sets things up so that they can stick with the four starting pitchers of Luis Castillo, Hunter Greene, Connor Overton, and Tyler Mahle until May 24th against the Chicago Cubs.

The Reds may have options for that date. Mike Minor is scheduled to make his second rehab start with Louisville on Sunday. Cincinnati could bring him back into the big leagues after that if they would like, though he’s scheduled for just 60-65 pitches on Sunday. Perhaps he will get a third rehab start, but that wouldn’t make him available in the big leagues until the 25th.

Another potential option could be Nick Lodolo. He, too, is on the injured list. He last pitched on April 24th before his back began to act up. If his back is doing better, he could slot back into the rotation and there’s even enough time for him to make a rehab start in between now and then if the team feels that it’s necessary.

As for Vladimir Gutiererz moving to the bullpen, it’s both a bit of a surprise and not one at all. Gutierrez is just in his second season in the big leagues and last year he was solid, posting a 100 ERA+ (4.74 ERA) in 114.0 innings over 22 starts. This season, however, his ERA is almost double that through six starts. His ERA of 8.65 is just a 53 ERA+. His walk rate has also nearly doubled, and his low strikeout rate hasn’t improved, while his high-ish home run rate from 2021 has also gotten worse.

Not that he’s been all that good the first time through the lineup this season, but in 54 plate appearances he’s given up just one home run. Hitters still have an OPS against him of .930 the first time they face him in a game, but he’s kept the ball in the yard. In the second time through the order batters have five home runs against him in 54 plate appearances and have an OPS of 1.185 against him. Perhaps the bullpen will allow the home run rate to stay down, but let his stuff play up a little bit in shorter outings and he can see some kind of turn around.

5 Responses

  1. David

    And they could bring Santillan, who was a starter in the minors, into the rotation.

    But he has (generally) been pretty good in the bullpen.

    The Reds larger problem is that besides Overton, nobody gets into the 6th inning.
    And Guitierez has not had the sharpest control, so putting him in the bullpen…well, it may all work out.

    Or they could just “patch” a game together with 3 or 4 relievers pitching 2-3 innings each. That would work out to 9 innings, somewhere. 🙂

    Ashcraft is also available to start in Cincinnati, but he would have to be added to the 40 man roster. Looking at the 40 man, there is some dead-wood on there. Ashcraft presently appears to be pitching very well at AAA.

  2. LDS

    It is somewhat concerning that DJ worked with him to change his mechanics and more than doubled his ERA. I would think by the time a player is in his mid 20s that changes would be more tweaks than wholesale revisions – if it ain’t broke don’t fix it? I’m not a baseball coach but as a management type looking from the outside, it sure feels like the Reds management team feels it necessary to put their stamp on everything.

    • Rhaye

      Nah, that’s not how that works. Mechanics can be reworked for any number of reasons; Tejay Antone reworked his mechanics a few years ago despite already hitting AAA and being on track for the majors, and he wound up adding 5 mph to his pitches with improved control + spinrates.

      Vladi Guti definitely needed *something* to improve in order for him to last in the majors. A strikeout rate that low when he already didn’t have the greatest of control doesn’t tend to go well together. Either velocity, deception, spinrate, or control needed to improve, all of which *tend to happen* via mechanic changes.

  3. Nelson Coble Coblene@comcast.net

    Pitching coach has been a disappointment. Was suppose to be a guru.

  4. Mark Moore

    My eye test says it was time for this move. Ultimately, I think it makes for a stronger BP.