WASHINGTON, DC – It was only a year since Vladimir Gutierrez was given an 80-game ban for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug and question marks surrounded his career.
Now he is ready to achieve one of his dreams.
Gutierrez will make his Major League debut on Friday if he’s the starting pitcher against the Chicago Cubs, the club said. The Reds needed someone to fill a slot this week because Wade Miley is on the 10-day injured list with an injury to his left foot.
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“I appreciate everything the Reds have done for me,” said Gutierrez during spring training. “Since I signed up in 2016, they have always been with me despite the suspension. I appreciate what the organization has done for me. To everyone who follows me, I will still give 100% of my time, 100% of what I can do to get out of there because I am a big competitor. I really want to do my best. “
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Gutierrez has continued to impress coach and front office staff since his suspension. He was dominant in the fall training league, which earned him a place on the 40-man roster. During the off-season, he worked with former Philadelphia Phillies Minor League pitching coach Hector Berrios to continue his development.
After completing his suspension in April, Gutierrez had a 2-0 record and 2.65 ERA in three starts at Triple-A Louisville. He hit 21 and went seven in 17 innings, which resulted in nine hits and five runs.
Gutierrez, a 25-year-old right-handed man, throws a fastball in the mid-1990s and owns a strong curveball and bill. He was ranked No. 12 by MLB.com and No. 14 by Baseball America.
He found out about his 80-game ban when spring training was suspended in March 2020 after testing positive for stanozolol. Gutierrez called it “a giant bomb” when he talked about it in spring practice.
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“I don’t really want to talk much about what the suspension was like,” he said. “I was just walking into my room when it came out. My family, my wife said to me, “Hey, you are strong, you will get through this. Everything will be fine, you just have to move on. ‘I’ve worked with other people in my camp, they told me,’ You are strong, you are really good at what you do, you just have to go ahead and keep going. ‘