Stuart Fairchild, the Cincinnati Reds #7 prospect, had himself a nice spring training debut. Tyler Stephenson, the Reds #3 prospect, had doubled earlier in the inning and was standing on second base for Fairchild. Matt Tomshaw wishes he’d have gone with a different pitch to the Reds outfield prospect as Fairchild unloaded for a 2-run homer to get Cincinnati on the board for the first time on the day.
The 2019 season was one that Vladimir Gutierrez would likely like to forget about. The right-handed pitcher posted a 6.04 ERA in Triple-A Louisville with the Bats while making 27 starts. He would finish the season well, posting a 2.83 ERA over his final five starts with 10 walks and 39 strikeouts in 28.2 innings – but by-and-large he struggled throughout the year. But the Cuban-born starter got the nod to start the first game of spring training for the Cincinnati Reds after being invited to camp as a non-roster player.
For Gutierrez, at least on the first day, he picked up where he left off in the 2019 season – pitching well. The righty allowed just one hit – an infield single to last year’s American League batting title winner Tim Anderson. Gutierrez also struck out two batters without allowing a walk.
Tejay Antone is coming off of a much better 2019 season than Vladimir Gutierrez, splitting his season between Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville where he had a combined 4.00 ERA across 146.1 innings. But like Gutierrez, he put together two strong innings on the mound, allowing just one base runner – a walk to Nomar Mazara. Antone didn’t record a strikeout in his two innings, but he got four ground ball outs while on the mound.
On the mound later in the game there was a Brandon Finnegan appearance and it was a solid one. He walked a batter in an otherwise perfect inning. According to Jeff Brantley on the radio call of the game, Finnegan was hitting 94 MPH with his fastball – which is harder than he’s been throwing for a while now.
Ryan Nutof came on in relief of Chris Volstad in the 9th inning. He walked a batter and racked up a strikeout in 0.2 hitless innings. Alex Powers allowed a solo home run in his inning of work.