The Cincinnati Reds have picked up left-handed pitcher Bennett Sousa off of waivers from the Chicago White Sox. To make room for him on the 40-man roster the team moved right-handed pitcher Vladimir Gutierrez to the 60-day injured list. Gutierrez is still recovering from Tommy John surgery that he had last summer.

Bennett Sousa will turn 28-years-old the first week of April and he’s pitched in just one big league season. The lefty went 3-0 in 2022 for the Chicago White Sox, but don’t get confused by his record – he pitched very poorly. In 25 games he allowed 19 earned runs in 20.1 innings while walking 10 batters and striking out just 12 of the 96 that he faced.

Things were better for Sousa in Triple-A Charlotte last season. In the minor leagues he posted a 3.95 ERA in 28 games that covered 27.1 innings. He picked up six saves for the Knights and struck out 35 batters to go along with 12 walks.

The lefty averages 95 MPH with his fastball and 88 MPH with his slider. What was interesting to see last year is that all of his struggles in the big leagues came in the first two months of the season. He made the White Sox out of spring training and stayed with them until June 13th. After that he spent the rest of his season in the minor leagues with Charlotte. His fastball averaged 94.3 MPH and his slider averaged 87.6 MPH in the big leagues. He used his fastball 43% of the time and his slider 57% of the time during that time period.

When he went back to Triple-A things changed. He increased his fastball usage to 53% and his slider usage dropped to 47%. Both pitches picked up velocity, too. His fastball jumped up to 95.2 MPH and his slider to 88.1 MPH. If you are looking for a reason to think that perhaps his big league fortunes could be different this time around this is probably where you want to lay your hopes at – that throwing a little bit harder and changing the usage will lead to improvements over the 8.41 ERA that he posted in 2022 with the White Sox.

You can see the career stats for Bennett Sousa here.

21 Responses

  1. RedBB

    Could be worse….better than John Sousa

    • Jim Walker

      Yep, sounds like dumpster diving in a slightly more upscale neighborhood. But hey. sometimes when we are walking our dogs around our plat, I see things out for haul away that I am tempted to grab.

    • James K

      It’s further evidence that W-L records have become a nearly meaningless statistic.

      • 2020ball

        People will still continue to use them though, and then complain about a different statistic because they dont want to take the time to understand it.

    • MK

      I don’t know, I bet they could charge more for tickets if were running John Phillip out there on Opening Day. It is a business. Ask Phil C who he would rather have. He isn’t running a nonprofit!

      • greenmtred

        Particularly considering JP Sousa’s age! He’d be the 8th wonder of the world.

      • Jim Walker

        @Greenm>>> But a guy who whip that conductor’s baton around like he did through all those concerts of his marches could have probably really brought some heat repurposed into throwing a baseball.

      • BK

        Perhaps a two-way player with his “bat” speed.

  2. LDS

    The Reds really have a shortage of LH’ers. I guess this is a desperation move. It’s going to be an interesting year to say the least.

    • Gaffer

      Any move this year will be “desperate”.

      • LDS

        Yeah, probably so. Personally, I’m looking forward to the 2027 rebuild. I think they’ll be very competitive in 2030 once they’ve traded off all the current prospects.

  3. old-school

    Bobby nightengale reports Justin Dunn is limited with tightness. Looks like can cross him off the SP rotation on OD.

    • MBS

      @Old, that sounds like a bit of a leap. Lets hope not at least.

    • Redsvol

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Dunn is finished from a starting pitching perspective. He will probably have to figure out a way to recreate himself as a reliever – possible use pitches that don’t aggravate the condition as much. Recurring shoulder issues are not good indicators of pitching in MLB.

  4. 2020ball

    Lefty with a live arm, and this team can especially use BP depth

    • SteveAreno

      Sousa could work out to our advantage. His minor league service has been good. Our different set of coaches could figure something out. Let’s hope the negative nellies are wrong.

  5. Bdh

    Nice to have a few left handed relievers competing for spots in the bullpen. Wonder if Sousa’s 40 man spot is safe or one of the 1st to go depending on what NRI’s make the team.

    On Gutierrez – is the plan for him to remain a starter when he comes back or transition to the bullpen? If he returns to his rookie year self then he’s a solid back of the rotation starter but he’s going to have a lot of talented arms to fight off if that’s the plan.

    • Harry Stoner

      The Reds’ bullpen will always be an area of opportunity for any pitcher whatever their age, experience, health, throwing arm.

      I’m not convinced from Gutierriez’s brief sojourn as a starter that somehow he is a lock in the future plans. He stepped in when the situation was brief and had some initial success but didn’t seem to me to totally dominate the SP scenario planning.

      If Williamson and Abbott, for instance step up while he is recovering from TJ, his window of SP opportunity may have closed here.

      He’s be wise to consider his options while in recovery.

      The Reds will always need good relievers and don’t seem to prioritize the acquisition of them from outside the organization.

      Gutierrez might be able to capitalize on the situation and position himself for a lengthy and prosperous career.

      Good health to him.

      • Bdh

        I agree and I think the bullpen will fix itself internally in the coming years

        Years of team control left

        Sims – 2 more years
        Antone – 3 more years
        Diaz – 5 more years
        Sanmartin – 5 more years
        Santillan – 5 more years
        Gibaut – 5 more years
        Cruz – 6 more years

        Throw Gutierrez in there as an option and he has 4 years left of control

        I’m also excited to see what Legumina can do when he’s up and given the chance

        Then you have a good amount of solid starters coming up and some will have to transition. Obvious choices to me are


        But other names like Stoudt, Roa, and even 1 of Abbott/Phillips if Williamson sticks in the rotation could make their way to the bullpen.

        Maybe someone who’s already a minor league reliever breaks out like Andrew Moore. Guarantee I’m forgetting others

  6. AMDG

    All of these recent minor league signings of guys who are older journeymen with no upside, and with a 0% chance of being productive major leaguers seems to imply the Reds are perhaps stacking the L’ville Bats to produce their first winning season in over a decade?

  7. Rod Andrews

    I can understand adding depth to the staff, but Sousa? He doesn’t appear to have done anything up to the age of 28, with mediocre stuff, and almost no ML experience. I would think a youngster coming up would be at least as as good or better than Sousa. What do they see in this guy?