Cincinnati Reds prospect Vladimir Gutierrez will be suspended for 80 games after a positive PED test.
The native of Pinar del Río, Cuba who is 24 years of age is the #15 prospect in the team’s farm system. Last season in AAA the righthander started 27 and had a record of 6-11 that was accompanied by a 6.04 earned run average.
In three minor seasons with the Reds Vladimir has a balance of 22-29, ERA of 4.98, and 356 strikeouts in 387 innings pitched.
Gutiérrez last took the mound this spring and in 5.1 innings posted a 8.44 ERA, while striking out 8 batters during that span. Hitters also hit .348 against the hard throwing pitcher during that time. The Reds have invited the prospect to Spring Training the last two seasons.
During the winter the prospect pitched in the Dominican Winter League with the Licey Tigers. In seven starts with the Caribbean ball he had a record of 1-4 and an earned run average of 3.21. In 28 innings pitched Gutiérrez fanned 20 hitters.
The suspension is a big setback for the Cuban who was likely to debut in the Majors sometime this year and will likely be served during the 2021 season due to the fact that there will be no minor league baseball this season.
Gutiérrez signed with Cincinnati in international free agency in 2016 for 4.75 after defecting from the Cuban team that represented the island during the 2015 Caribbean World Series in Puerto Rico.
During the 2013-14 season the pitcher was named the rookie of the year with the Pinar del Río Tabacco Growers. That season Gutiérrez he won 5 games, saved two others, and had an ERA of 3.90. In his two Serie Nacionales primarily as a reliever, he was 8-10 with a 3 27 earned run average, 15 saves, and 93 K’s.
Gutiérrez has a tough road ahead after his suspension is completed, as when he returns he will no longer be a prospect due to his age and might be on the outside looking in.