Red Sox starter Brayan Bello pitched well in his rehab outing for Triple-A Worcester on Tuesday night.
After tossing five innings in an extended spring training game down in Fort Myers last Wednesday, Bello faced more advanced competition in the Columbus Clippers on a warm evening at Polar Park.
Going six innings this time around, Bello allowed just one earned run on four hits, zero walks, and one hit batsman to go along with four strikeouts. That lone blemish came in the top of the fourth, when the right-hander served up a one-out solo shot to Clippers cleanup hitter Zack Collins.
Bello did not falter after giving up the home run, though. The 23-year-old instead retired seven of the last nine batters he faced and wrapped up his night by getting Collins to ground into an inning-ending, 4-6-3 double play in the sixth.
“I felt good,” Bello told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Katie Morrison-O’Day) through translator Jesus Quinonez of Telemundo. ““I was just trying to throw all the pitches in the strike zone, trying to throw quality pitches and everything went well.”
Finishing with a final pitch count of 81 (50 strikes), Bello induced nine swing-and-misses while mixing in a 94-97 mph sinker, an 86-89 mph changeup, an 82-86 mph slider, and an 81-83 mph curveball, per Baseball Savant. That curveball is a new pitch the righty has recently implemented into his arsenal.
“I felt my velo was good and I was also throwing a pitch that I’ve been practicing in the last couple days, a curve,” said Bello. “I feel good. My body feels good. I’m just trying to do the same work and try to rehabilitate well and try to put in the work so this doesn’t happen again.”
When mentioning “this,” Bello is presumably referring to the right forearm tightness that shut him down during the early stages of spring training and resulted in him starting the season on the 15-day injured list. Now that he is healthy, the Dominican-born hurler appears ready to make his return to the Red Sox’ rotation.
On that front, Bello said that while the decision will ultimately be made by the Sox, he believes he has made his last rehab start. As such, he will likely make his 2023 debut in this weekend’s series against the Angels at Fenway Park. If Boston were to give Bello an additional day of rest, he would be lined up to start opposite Shohei Ohtani for the first time on Marathon Monday.
Bello is not the only injured Red Sox starter who will be rehabbing with the WooSox this week. Left-hander James Paxton, who is working his way back from a right hamstring strain, will get the ball for Worcester on Friday.
(Picture of Brayan Bello: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)