The Cincinnati Reds have announced that they’ve signed right-handed pitcher Tayron Guerrero to a minor league contract with an invitation to big league spring training. Guerrero last pitched in the big leagues in 2019 with the Miami Marlins.

Last season the 32-year-old pitched in Japan for the Chiba Lotte Marines where he threw 46.0 innings in 49 appearances and posted a 3.52 ERA. The righty struck out 63 batters, allowed 20 walks and 34 hits, and gave up just two home runs. In 2021 he pitched in Triple-A with the White Sox organization and struggled, posting a 6.63 ERA in 18 games.

During his big league career he’s pitched in 113 games over parts of three seasons, but really it’s just two years. In 2016 he pitched in one game and threw 2.0 innings for the San Diego Padres. Then in 2018 and 2019 he appeared in 60 games and 52 games for the Marlins. He had plenty of strikeouts – picking up 111 of them in 106.0 innings, but he also allowed 15 home runs and walked 66 batters in that time. Control was an issue for him.

While we don’t have any recent Trackman or Hawkeye data for Tayron, we do have some from his time in the big leagues. And that data shows a guy who averaged over 99 MPH with his fastball. In 2018 he topped out at 104.7 MPH. He also threw a change up in the 92-94 MPH range, and a slider in the upper 80’s.

With a fastball like there, there’s clearly plenty of upside. But if he’s had a fastball like that in the past and has gotten the results that he’s had, it probably tells us a lot about his control and his secondary offerings.

On a minor league deal there’s nothing at all wrong with this kind of signing. Maybe his time in Japan helped him move in the right direction with some things, and maybe with the Reds coaches in spring training he can take another step forward and compete for a spot in a bullpen that has an infinite amount of questions about it once you get beyond Alexis Diaz.

You can see his career stats here.

39 Responses

  1. CFD3000

    Depth and a lottery ticket. Not a bad thing, but not much to get excited about. If he’s improved his consistency and tearing it up in Louisville in June then maybe Guerrero will be a find. Another bargain hunting outing for your Cincinnati Reds!

  2. PTBNL

    I wish I could throw a changeup in the 92-94 mph range.

    • Doc

      A change up in the 92-94 range would be quite a complementary piece to my 35 mph fastball. Of course, that was several years ago and I’ve probably lost a few ticks as I reach my mid-70s (age, not speed)!

  3. LDS

    SMH. Another wonder boy. He’s 32 and I can’t find a stat line with an ERA below 4.00 in any league above AA. Maybe he throws hard, but his stats don’t suggest he can actually pitch. A career 1.66 SO/W. In other words, the prototypical Reds off season signing. I’m sure it’ll be different this time.

    • John blair

      Despite the youth we have now. Hast DJ shown he works well with pitchers who can spin it? Isn’t that why we got him from Milwaukee?.. This is not a splash. This is not even exciting. It is what we have. Let’s keep the negativity to the obvious glaring issues and not ASSUME DJ can’t work with him. Plenty of other stuff to be bummed about. Lol.

  4. Steven Ross

    The backend of our bullpen is now solidified. I can sleep better.

  5. Bdh

    So everything Bauer related (nothing bad) was deleted in the other thread? This morning it was just one of Doug’s own posts that was gone but now it’s all taken down. Did I miss some new stuff that was said or are we just getting this soft?

    • Doug Gray

      We are just not dealing with it. If you want to discuss it you can find another place.

      • Mark Moore

        Your site, your rules. And, frankly, I don’t want the drama and baggage that come with him. I feel the same way about Chapman. We’ve got bigger issues to address and this kind of stuff just tries to mask the real problems.

  6. MK

    Looks as though the Reds have put some resources into scouting the Japanese League as in addition to Guerrero they signed Alan Busenitz from that league earlier this winter.

    • Jimbo44CN

      That’s great, maybe than can scout some guy named Aquino who can supposedly play good defense and occasionally hit. Geez.

  7. Old-school

    Reds asleep at the wheel.
    Phillies just got Gregory Soto Tigers -AS and controlled and dominant 99 mph bullpen and Reds 2020 killer for a AAA catcher and a couple of major league ready utility players who
    Might be decent

    Reds havent committed to the bullpen in 7-8 years.

    • LarkinPhillips

      IMO, the quickest and cheapest way for a “small market” team to improve is by investing heavily in the bullpen. Teams like the royals and brewers had success with a solid bullpen and a core of young players.

      • Doug Gray

        The Reds bullpen could be quite good if Lucas Sims, Tejay Antone, and Tony Santillan return to form and remain healthy. That’s a pretty big ask, of course, but if it happens and Alexis Diaz remains good (I do think it’s unrealistic to expect him to repeat his ERA from 2022), the pen could be a real strength. There’s just so much variance there, though. Two back injuries and a second Tommy John surgery….. hope for the best.

      • Old-school

        Gregory soto and Alexis diaz would be dominant. If Tejay antone and Santillan and Sims and others ok.., quickest way to +.500

      • David

        TJ Antone MIGHT come back, as he has commented on his arm feeling strong at the end of 2022, as he was starting to throw again and begin to build stamina. If he comes back to pitch, I hope that David Bell is very careful with him as he builds up stamina and arm strength.
        I would not count on Lucas Sims, as there is not much indication that his back problems are completely healed, or will ever completely heal. Back problems are usually “chronic” (remember John Lamb?) and once they are injured (back, cartilage, spine) , there’s usually not a way back. I certainly wish Lucas well, but I don’t think he can come back.

      • LarkinPhillips

        @Doug, While I agree that the bullpen this year MIGHT be a strength, for too many years the Reds have failed to even attempt to invest in the bullpen. This year, the bullpen relies heavily on ifs and mights rather than adding one to two solid arms to compliment Diaz. If we added two solid arms and IF Antone and Sims bounced back, then that would give the Reds a great ability to limit the 3 young starters getting stretched out too far, while still getting them wins when they leave with a lead after 6ish innings. The first half of 2020 still really bothers me, as I believe it cost us the post season and closed any small competitive window that existed.

      • Reaganspad

        Why not start TJ? Standard days of pitching might be better for him. He could be an opener and start by going 2-3 innings for the first part of the year, get to 4 or 5 by year end.

        When he was last pitching, he had the best stuff on the team. I would make his work load as consistent as possible versus the up and down of the bullpen

  8. DW

    I love taking a chance on a boom or busy guy like this. 104mph is worth giving a chance alone.

      • David

        Signing him to a minor league contract seems like a good risk. Maybe he has learned a few things.

        Comparing him to Hunter Greene; I think Hunter had that “92 mph” change up, that probably looks like a routine ML fastball to a lot of guys, and maybe TOO hittable. I think Hunter pretty much filed that pitch as he developed his slider and slightly changed his grip on his fastball to change to movement.
        So while he may have a great fastball, that change up may not be the pitch he wants to really throw. Maybe something else in his repetoire would be better.

  9. JB

    104 and can’t find the plate. I’m thinking Wild Thing will be playing when he comes in. The people in the front row behind the catcher might see the ball more than the catcher. Just goes to show that the Reds will go to the ends of the earth to find their has beens. Or never was been.

    • Colorado Red

      Nobody dug in too much against the wild thing.
      Just a thought.

  10. Rednat

    i don’t know. 2023 just seems like it will be a gimmick year. Joey’s last year. Alot of guys with some local connections. now this 104 mph flame thrower from the Japanese league.

    i usually go to about 20 games a year. i just can’t imagine myself going down to the ball park that much this year. got a feeling it is going to be pretty depressing. Not sure how long ownership can survive utilizing these types of side shows?

    • David

      “Where else are you going to go?” – paraphrasing Phil Castellini…..

      I know that I too have lost a lot of interest in the Reds. The Castellini Regime has been the cause of all this…in uneqivocal terms. It’s not “small market” baseball syndrome. Sure, smaller markets may not quite have the resources that the Yankees and Dodgers have, but the lousy seasons between 2013 and 2019 are problematical, even before you start to talk about 2022.

  11. AMDG

    Unless I’m missing somebody, the Reds only have 2 potentially reliable starters headed into 2023. Therefore they need as many bullpen pitchers as possible.

    Cessa has all of 10 starts over the past 3 seasons and likely can’t go 30+ starts this year.
    Ashcraft was terrible in his final 15 starts after his flash in the pan start of 2022.
    Dunn was terrible last year.
    Gutierrez was terrible last year and is injured.
    Overton was likely a fluke, given he pitched better last season than he has at any minor league level, or previous major league stop.
    Stoudt & Williamson only have a handful of starts at even the AAA level.

    • LarkinPhillips

      Ashcraft had 19 games last year, so I would hardly say he was terrible in his last 15 starts. He came back from injury and had two subpar starts in September. Prior to injury, his 5 game lines before that were:
      6.2IP, 3 ER, 6Ks 2BBs
      8.1IP 0ER 3Ks 0BBs
      5.2IP 1ER 3KS 2BBs
      6.1IP 3 ER 4Ks 3BBs
      6.2IP 3 ER 8Ks 1BB

      • Old Big Ed

        Larkin, one of the rules of this board is that we don’t allow facts to get in the way of a good opinion.

      • Old-school

        Ashcraft was just gassed hitting innings. Hes a nice pitcher and tons of potential

      • AMDG

        Not that each of the final 15 starts were terrible. But they were a far cry from his phenomenal start.

        In games 5~12 he was very bad (6.59 ERA & 0.332 OBA)
        In games 13~16 he was good (2.33 ERA & 0.240 OBA)
        In games 17~19 he was awful (12.00 ERA & 0.353 OBA)

        So he did have a nice little run in August, but seems to have been more the outlier over the final 15 games.

        Hopefully, for the Reds, I’m wrong. The ‘experts’ are projecting him to lower his ERA down to about 4.50, so hopefully they are right.

    • Redsvol

      You’re missing somebody- Ashcraft had a bad 4 game period in late June/early July. He was quite good in august. He was terrible at end of the year when they shouldn’t have brought him back. If he’s healthy, he is a good starter.

      Agreed, spots 4&5 are up for grabs. Not too many mlb clubs with payroll <80$million have 5 established starters. This is what 2023 will be about – who can step up and who will shrink in the moment.

      We definitely are thin in the starting pitching area. I’m not convinced any of the 3 rookies can throw 150 – much less 180 innings- of injury free baseball. Hopefully I am wrong.

      • Reaganspad

        I agree. Ashcraft was our best starter through June

      • Optimist

        Agree about the 3 rookies workload – a while ago I looked at it from the ip total. There are roughly 1450 innings in a season – how do they cover them? I think the 3 rookies can get to 450 without major injury. They were at 330 last season, not having full seasons in the rotation.

        The issue becomes where do they get the other 1000 ip? Also consider Mahle and Castillo gave them 190 ip, so there’s a hole to begin with.

        They basically need 2 Mike Minors, and a much better bullpen. The bullpen should be better, and Minor was a wreck, but add in certain injury time, field management and filling the 4-9 rotation spots and they have quite a challenge ahead.

      • David

        The answer is not more Mike Minors, tagged as inning eaters, but are really sub-mediocre older pitchers who contribute (with bad starts of less than 5 innings) to wearing down the bullpen.
        It was remarked that Dunn was terrible last year. He was certainly not 100% of what was expected, but they got him at a bargain because Seattle was out of roster spots, and he still needed time to re-build his shoulder strength. He may or may not be better this season, but only time will tell..
        Cessa did not start many games, but likely he will be stretched out to start in 2023 Spring training. I think we can expect 130-150 innings from him. I think ONE of Greene, Lodolo and Ashcraft will surprise us with more innings, and one will likely be hurt (on and off) and end up with less innings.
        Bobby Herget will, I think, be something of a surprise. Not great, but maybe that innings eater dreamed of, with just league average numbers.
        Connor Overton; I kind of agree that last year may have been a fluke. But maybe surprises us
        I think Williamson will emerge this year (mid-season?) and give the Reds some good innings. I think he is a major talent, on par with the young Big Three. He just needs more time.
        Levi Stoudt is on the 40 man and will likely contribute this year somewhere, but probably starting in AAA.
        I think we all have a big sentimental hope for getting Johnny Cueto, but I don’t know if that would be the wisest more for the Reds; getting an older pitcher and probably committing to two years to sign him. If his name wasn’t Johnny Cueto, would you still be for it?

      • Old-school

        Good points @ David
        Cueto made $4 mil last year. Id give him a 1 year deal for the same. Krall isnt signing guys yet for 2024. Interesting to see who the first one will be. It wont be an old guy for sure.

      • Optimist

        Dunn is good to very good when healthy. Of course, he’s never been healthy for any sort of extended stretch. It may happen, but so far he’s an 8th or 9th starter. Cessa should stay in the pen – too many recovering injuries there to rely on.

        I suppose they can get a dozen or 2 starts from the existing staff, including AAA callups and MiLB invitees, but they really must sign one MLB starter (Cueto obviously) and honestly they need 2 before they can rely on the 6th to 9th rotation spots.

  12. Roger Garrett

    No problem with taking a look at this pitcher.A dude that throws 100 is always worth a look IMO.