Boston Red Sox

  • BOSTON, MA - JULY 6: Brayan Bello #66 of the Boston Red Sox pitches in the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park on July 6, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

    BOSTON, MA – JULY 6: Brayan Bello #66 of the Boston Red Sox pitches in the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park on July 6, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

    Wednesday night saw Brayan Bello‘s Major League debut, as the fourth-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization got the start in a rubber match against the Tampa Bay Rays. Over four innings of work, Bello showed some flashes to be excited about, but areas for improvement as well.

    Bello began his outing by getting Josh Lowe to fly out to center. He then surrendered his first Major League hit, a double by Yandy Diaz. That was followed by a first pitch RBI single from Wander Franco. Things didn’t get any easier after an error by Francy Cordero set up a first and second, one out situation, but Bello recovered well and made a nice play on his own to set up an inning-ending double play.

  • The second inning way Bello’s best. He allowed just one walk, and only faced four hitters. That inning also included his first Major League strikeout, as he got Francisco Mejia to fan on five pitches. The punchout pitch was a 97 MPH sinker, tied for his fastest pitch of the night.

  • In the third inning, Bello retired two of the first three hitters he faced, including a strikeout of Franco. However, the 23-year-old struggled to get the putaway out.

    After Ji-Man Choi singled through the shift, Randy Arozarena smacked a double off the left field wall that scored two runs. After another walk, Kevin Kiermaier added an RBI double to stretch the score to 4-0. Bello finished the inning off getting Mejia to line out.

    Coming back out for the fourth, Bello bounced back again. He worked around a double by Lowe, retiring the other three hitters he faced.

    Bello’s final line saw him throw four innings, allowing six hits and four earned runs while walking three hitters and striking out two. He threw 79 pitches in total, with 45 going for strikes (57 percent). His fastball looked strong staying in the upper 90’s for most of the night, but struggled to control his changeup which is his carrying pitch. He left the game with the Red Sox trailing 4-0.

  • Bello’s next start is still up in the air. According to ESPN, the Red Sox currently have their stars scheduled through July 9, with just five open spots between now and the All-Star break beginning on July 18. Whether Bello gets one of those spots likely depends on the status of veteran pitchers currently working their way back from various injuries.

    Chris Sale made a rehab start Wednesday night in Worcester, allowing one run on three hits in 3.2 innings while issuing five walks and picking up five strikeouts. It’s been speculated his next start could be his season debut with the Red Sox.

    There’s also Garrett Whitlock, who threw a bullpen session earlier in the week but is expected to be used out of the bullpen once he returns. Nathan Eovaldi is “trending in the right direction,” as Alex Cora told the media earlier this week, and could make a rehab start this weekend.