Brayan Bello’s Development Much-Needed Positive Outcome For Red Sox

Bello had his final start of the season Saturday

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October 1

If Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora needs to find a bright spot from this season, he knows what he can point toward.

While enduring some ups and downs in his first action at the big league level, top pitching prospect Brayan Bello put together impressive performances that showcase his budding potential. After his final start of the season Saturday in a 10-0 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, Bello finished his rookie campaign with a 2-8 record and a 4.71 ERA in 57 1/3 innings pitched — numbers which are a bit deceiving due to the soft contact that hampered him.

For Red Sox manager Alex Cora, seeing Bello break through in the big leagues this season and contribute as much as he did was unexpected.

“He wasn’t actually going to be part of the plan. Probably at the end if we were in the hunt in another role,” Cora told reporters, as seen on NESN postgame coverage. “But for him to come up here and for everything that went wrong this year, that went right. We feel like we’re in a great place with him. He’s going to work hard in the offseason and put pressure on us next year to see what we’re going to do early on. Amazing. He’s that good.”

Bello’s last start this season was far from his strongest. A vaunted Blue Jays lineup got to the 23-year-old for four runs on 10 hits in four innings, while Bello struck out four and walked two. Despite the subpar showing, Cora still found a positive with Bello working back from a 3-0 count versus Matt Chapman with the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth and inducing an inning-ending double play to complete his outing.

“He’s a great kid and he’s a little bit disappointed at what happened today, but at the end of the day, I think we should remember Chapman, bases loaded one out, ground ball double play, got out of the inning,” Cora said.

NESN 360 in-article asset

There was plenty of hype around Bello when he made his big league debut on July 6 at Fenway Park against the Tampa Bay Rays. Bello didn’t register success right away, though, going 0-3 with an 8.82 ERA in his first month in the majors.

After getting moved briefly to the bullpen and spending time on the injured list, Bello showed what all that hype surrounding him was about. The right-hander, looking more comfortable, posted a 2-3 record to go along with a much-improved 1.65 ERA in September.

“My main takeaway is that not all outings are the same,” Bello said through a translator, as seen on NESN postgame coverage. “Obviously I struggled at the beginning and have learned a lot and have come a long way since my first outing here in the big leagues. I think I’m going to ready for next year and to fight for a spot on the Opening Day roster.”

It’s a sentiment Cora shares as well, as the enthusiasm around Bello is building again to see if he can take another step in his development next year with this vital experience under his belt.

“I think overall, a great season for him,” Cora said. “He learned a lot. I was telling him, the first game against the Rays and now where he’s at right now, we’re very excited. He should be very proud of everything he accomplished this year.”

Thumbnail photo via John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports Images
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