Vladimir Gutiérrez: ” By the first week of August I’ll be ready to pitch in the big leagues.”

Vladimir Gutiérrez is characterized as a warrior to many, due the fact that when he has a setback in his career he always gets off the mat swinging. When he was suspended in 2020 for violating the league PED policy many counted him out, yet he got up off the mat and made his MLB debut a year later.

His latest setback is Tommy John surgery and from speaking to Gutiérrez he is also tackling this challenge head on. The right-hander from Pinar del Río, Cuba is working out freakishly and is on a pace to return to the mound in August.

In his two year big league career he sports a record of 10-12, 5.44 earned run average and has struck out 117 batters in 150 ⅔ innings of work. The 27-year-old Gutiérrez still shows a lot of promise and if he returns to his 2021 form could be a future anchor for the Reds’ pitching staff.

What is your goal for this year?

My goal this year is to be at 100 percent and with God’s grace take the mound sometime this year.

What stage of your recovery are you in?

Right now we are at the stage where we are throwing up to 180 feet and then after that we are throwing 90 and 120 feet with precision, there is a radar behind the person I’m throwing to in every instance.

A few days ago you started the “long toss”, what comes after that?

Tuesday was my first day going up to 180 feet and on Saturday I’m going to throw 180 feet again. After that I will do the compression process for 3 or 4 weeks. Then more than likely I will commence the bullpen stage of my recovery.

Is there an estimated time for when you will be able to throw hitters off the mound?

By the first week of August I should be throwing to live batters and ready to pitch in the big leagues.

When you’re fully recovered, could we see you pitching in the winter?

I still don’t know what the team has planned for me or if they will let me play winter ball.

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