In the spring of 2020 Vladimir Gutierrez tested positive for the PED stonozolol. With spring training being shut down in mid-March, and the baseball world as a whole doing the same thing until June. While Gutierrez tested positive in the spring it wasn’t until June that his suspension was announced. The positive test resulted in him facing an 80-game suspension, but just how that would be handled without a minor league season going on was up in the air for a bit of time. Ultimately it was decided that he would get credit for the games played by the big league club, leaving him with just a short amount of time due to be served in the 2021 season.
With the minor league season not beginning in 2021 until May 4th, Vladimir Gutierrez didn’t miss any games this year at the minor league level. He has been with the Cincinnati Reds alternate site team since spring training ended, but he hasn’t been able to play in games with the team if there were paying fans in the stands. To stay on schedule he would throw live batting practice/simulated games if his throw day fell on a day in which he wasn’t allowed to participate in the game.
With his suspension over he had to be added back to the 40-man roster. That led to Cincinnati placing outfielder Aristides Aquino on the 60-day injured list in order to open up a spot on the 40-man without designating anyone for assignment.
All of that is now behind him. Vladimir Gutierrez was allowed to pitch in spring training with the big league club – even in front of paying fans. After a solid showing in the Dominican Winter League with Licey where he posted a 3.71 ERA in 17.0 innings with 21 strikeouts he showed up in Goodyear ready to go. His success continued there as he was charged with just one unearned run in his 7.0 innings. That came with just two hits, two walks, and 11 strikeouts.
Shogo Akiyama gets on the field
On Sunday we saw Shogo Akiyama get on the field for his first rehab game with the Reds alternate site team in Louisville. He was set to play on Saturday, but that game was rained out. Nick Curran, the Louisville Bats play-by-play announcer provided some updates:
Shogo Akiyama with a lineout his 1st time up in Louisville tonight. pic.twitter.com/yrmPAKPz2D
— Nick Curran (@NickCurran35) April 25, 2021
He would later note that Shogo Akiyama grounded out to shortstop in his second at-bat. In the final at-bat of the day for Akiyama he had a sharp ground out to first base.