The Boston Red Sox have an exciting opportunity during spring training, playing a pair of exhibition games in the Dominican Republic against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Boston has had several Dominican stars in the past and present that have shaped the franchise. On the current team, Red Sox right-hander Brayan Bello is a key member of the young core and has pitched in big spots before. The chance to pitch during those exhibitions, however, would hold a special meaning for the 24-year-old.
“I’ve been getting that question a lot about pitching there,” Bello told reporters through a translator during Red Sox Winter Weekend in January. “For me, it’s very special for me to pitch in the Dominican Republic. Not only because it’s my home country, but because I have a lot of family there that’s not able to come to the U.S. and see me pitch. For me, (the chance) to pitch over there means the world to me.”
Getting to pitch in the D.R. would be an energizing start in a season where Bello can build on previous success. In 2023, Bello was arguably the team’s most consistent starter, winning 12 games and leading the team with 157 innings pitched.
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Will Bello get his opportunity to take the mound on his home turf?
The young righty chuckled when sharing that he had not asked Red Sox manager Alex Cora about it, though he felt pretty good about his chances.
The path to the 2024 season truly begins in a few days when pitchers and catchers report for the start of the season.
Featured image via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images