The Cincinnati Reds are in need of pitching help. Some think they should go out and trade for some pitcher before the trade deadline to help with either the rotation or the bullpen (or both). But if the club can’t find a way to do that, they are going to have to hope that the rehab stints for the likes of Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, Tejay Antone, and Vladimir Gutierrez go well and can return in August at some point to help bolster things.
While we don’t have a definitive timeline on Greene or Lodolo – just a “August return” for both, with Greene being expected sooner than Lodolo as previously reported – there was more of a specific timeline given for Antone and Gutierrez.
Tejay Antone is scheduled to begin his rehab assignment on Tuesday according to Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Antone, who missed all of 2022 with his second Tommy John surgery, has also missed all of this season after having a setback this spring that saw him get a PRP injection and then sit out for some time before getting back on the throwing program.
Vladimir Gutierrez is expected to be able to return about a week after Antone. He also is recovering from Tommy John surgery. He pitched in 10 games last season before the injury and then missed part of the first half and all of the second half. Gutierrez recently posted some video of his first live batting practice session out in Arizona. His fastball was sitting around 94-95 as he faced off against hitters in Goodyear.
Justin Dunn, who has been dealing with a shoulder problem for the last three seasons, but somehow hasn’t required surgery, is also on the rehab trail. He’s a little bit behind the other two, but could possibly return in September. Dunn, who was acquired from Seattle in March of 2022, pitched in seven games last season with the Reds between August and mid-September, has thrown just 31.0 innings since July of 2021 due to his ongoing shoulder issue.
One thing that these returns, along with that of Nick Lodolo, is that all of these players are currently on the 60-day injured list. That means that they don’t count towards the 40 player limit on the 40-man roster. But once they are eligible to return they’ll have to be activated and will then count towards that limit.
That’s going to lead to some roster crunch down the stretch. There may be a few more obvious guys that the team could designate for assignment to clear room, but four spots may be a little tough and could leave general manager Nick Krall and his team with a tough decision or two to make.