Boston Red Sox pitcher Brayan Bello took the mound during a spring training exhibition Sunday afternoon against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Returning from looming injury concerns surrounding Bello’s right forearm tightness that sidelined him at the start of spring training, the 23-year-old quickly put those worries in the rearview mirror.
Bello pitched two innings and retired all six Phillies hitters, throwing just 25 pitches in a 9-5 Grapefruit League Red Sox victory. The right-hander struck out three hitters, two coming from change-ups and the other from a slider, settling in comfortably and registering a flawless relief appearance.
“I think he did an outstanding job killing the rebab and he put himself in this situation,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters afterward, according to Ian Browne of MLB.com “We didn’t have any doubts. We knew it. It’s just one of those, we have to take care of him because of who he is, just be a little more cautious.”
With nine preseason games left before the Red Sox officially begin regular-season action, Bello isn’t set to join the rotation by Opening Day. Bello has just 11 starts of big league experience from 2022 and with a larger role expected in 2023, the Red Sox aren’t taking any risks.
“I do believe we weren’t concerned from the get-go. We just had to be cautious,” Cora said. “This kid is very important for us in the present and the future. We cannot take chances. It was early enough (in spring training), we were like, ‘We’re not going to push it.'”