Bell hopes Reds make most of unexpected off day

Gutierrez will make second big-league start one day later than planned

The Cincinnati Reds will stick with their original pitching plan after a rain postponement Wednesday.

Instead of starting Wednesday against the Philadelphia Phillies at Great American Ball Park, Vladimir Gutierrez will start Thursday on the road against the St. Louis Cardinals. Luis Castillo, Tyler Mahle and Wade Miley will follow in the four-game series.

While the Reds (24-29) would have liked to have played Wednesday and avenged their second-worst loss of the season, 17-3 on Tuesday, manager David Bell looked at the bright side, hoping a day of rest would help his team. The game was postponed early enough in the day, most of the players had not come to the stadium, so it was close to a true off day.

“You never can control the weather obviously,” Bell said, “and we don’t control the schedule either so anytime we get a chance to recover a little bit, it’s important. There are multiple times during a season where you can say it’s been a kind of a grind. I think this could be one of them. We’re used to that. We’ve trained for that. But there are some benefits to (rest).

“You’d like to get back out there. We’re used to playing every day. But it is really important we encourage our guys to make the most of it. It was good that it was at home and kind of unexpected. We didn’t really have to come in and prepare for a game and wait around, which made it nice.”

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Gutierrez will make his second start in the big leagues in the series opener Thursday. He allowed one run on two hits in five innings Friday in a 1-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs after being promoted from Triple-A Louisville.

“He just seemed comfortable,” Bell said. “Pitching in Wrigley Field against a good team, I think he showed that he belongs. I know it was just his first game and everything didn’t hinge on one outing. A lot of the decisions were based on what he’s done leading up to that for several years in his development. So it was good to add him and have a chance to see him pitch in a regular-season game. It will be fun to see him again against another opponent in our division.”

THURSDAY’S GAME

Reds at Cardinals, 8:15 p.m., Bally Sports Ohio, 700, 1410