Earlier this week we took our first look at some information that was coming out of the Cincinnati Reds instructional league and had notes on Rece Hinds, Ivan Johnson, and Luis Mey. Today we’re going to look at a few other things out in Arizona, as well as some new information on Vladimir Gutierrez – who we wrote a little bit about on Thursday.
Let’s start with Gutierrez. He was suspended for 80 games back in June after he tested positive for stanozolol during spring training. In a normal year, a player begins to serve their suspension immediately. If they are suspended in the offseason, or in spring training, their suspension begins when the team they were last active for begins play. For Gutierrez that would have been Louisville – but with no minor league season, there wasn’t immediate clarification on how minor league suspensions would be handled since players couldn’t technically “sit out” games. While I’m not sure if this applies to all players in the minors who have been suspended, for Gutierrez he will need to serve 20 games at the start of the 2021 season before his suspension is lifted and he can return to the field.
If there’s a normal season next year, that would be near the end of April before he can take the mound in an affiliated game. With an 80-game suspension, it seems that Gutierrez was given credit for serving 60 of them if he only has 20 left to serve. This is pure speculation on my part, but it seems that he gets credit for the length of the championship season (in the CBA this is what regular season games are referred to), which in the case of 2020 was 60 games.
Eduardo Salazar finding additional velocity in 2020
Eduardo Salazar spent his 2019 season in Dayton where he made 11 starts and another 24 relief appearances. He was solid in his time there, posting a 3.81 ERA in 106.1 innings with 36 walks and 81 strikeouts. His performance was much better as a starter than as a reliever, though, with a 2.87 ERA as a starter and a 4.75 ERA as a reliever. He mostly worked in the 90-92 MPH range during the season. He hit 95 MPH once during the year (actual 95, not a rounded up 94.whatever).
That’s changed out in Arizona over the last month. While pitching out of the bullpen in instructional league he’s sitting 95-96 and he’s touched 98. That’s a substantial jump in velocity for the 22-year-old right-hander. Salazar is expected to get some time starting in instructs, too.
Braylin Minier and Michel Triana
The top two international signings from the 2019 international signing class were initially listed on the Cincinnati Reds instructional league roster. Unfortunately neither player is actually there and both are back in the Dominican Republic. Major League Baseball did announce that team academies in the Dominican Republic could open up as early as October 19th if teams met all of the protocols for health and safety. I reported about two weeks ago that the organization was working on a plan to determine how and what it was that they could do in order to have some sort of training opportunities this winter at their academy. The plan is to have guys work out there once the organization can get things opened up.
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