BOSTON — Red Sox top pitching prospect Brayan Bello will start Monday against the Twins and there’s no plan as of now to option him back to Triple-A Worcester this season.
Manager Alex Cora was asked if Bello will stay in the rotation the rest of 2022.
“For now, he’s in the rotation, yeah,” Cora said. “There’s no talk about an innings limit and all that stuff. He’s one of the best five we have and he’ll be out there.”
Bello pitched well in his last start against the Blue Jays here at Fenway Park on Wednesday. The 23-year-old righty allowed two runs, six hits and one walk while striking out seven in 5 innings. He topped out at 98.7 mph with his four-seam fastball and recorded 13 swings-and-misses.
He threw his changeup 16 times and recorded seven swings-and-misses with it. His changeup has the potential to be a special pitch because of its late action paired with Bello’s arm speed.
Baseball America has him ranked No. 21 on its Top 100 list. His ceiling is high but the transition to the majors hasn’t been an easy one, although he has had some bad luck. His 3.03 FIP and .472 batting average on balls in play show he’s pitched better than his ERA (7.36) in six outings (four starts) indicates.
Cora pointed out how Bello has experienced things here he didn’t experience in the minors such as when the Rays stacked their lineup with left-handed hitters against him.
“He hasn’t seen that (in the minors),” Cora said. “And they put the ball in play and he didn’t get calls in the beginning that he thought they should be strikes. Probably he was getting those calls in Triple A. He’s not going to get those here.”
Cora said Bello is at his best when he’s aggressive with his stuff.
“I think when there’s conviction behind his pitches … he’s really good and his stuff is that good,” Cora said. “And that’s something that I kept hearing from the guys that were here in the dugout watching him pitch. Ref (Rob Refsnyder) and Yolmer (Sánchez). They were like, “This guy is different’ compared to what they saw the previous month. I think it started in Houston, he was about the turn the corner.”
Bello suffered a left groin strain during Boston’s loss in Houston on Aug. 3. He landed on the IL for 17 days.
“He had really good stuff that day,” Cora said. “We saw it the other day and tomorrow he’ll go out there against a good hitting team and try to do the same thing.”