The Red Sox have optioned right-hander Brayan Bello to Triple-A Worcester, the club announced prior to Monday’s series opener against the Orioles in Baltimore.
To take Bello’s spot on the active roster, left-hander Brennan Bernardino was recalled from Worcester.
Despite being optioned, Bello is still with the Red Sox in Baltimore, according to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo. The 23-year-old appears to be the odd man out for now as Boston makes the transition from a six-man to a five-man starting rotation moving forward.
Bello, who began the season on the injured list after being slowed by right forearm tightness in spring training, did not make his 2023 debut until last Monday. In his first two starts of the year for Boston, the Dominican-born hurler has posted a 9.82 ERA and 6.33 FIP with eight strikeouts to three walks in 7 1/3 innings of work. He allowed three runs on five hits, two walks, and three strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings against the Brewers on Sunday.
Because he has been sent down, Bello will need to spend the next 15 days in the minor-leagues unless he replaces an injured player or serves as the 27th man in a doubleheader. In the meantime, Chris Sale, Corey Kluber, Tanner Houck, Nick Pivetta, and Garrett Whitlock will remain in Boston’s rotation.
Bernardino, meanwhile, was claimed off waivers from the Mariners on April 16 after fellow reliever Zack Kelly (right elbow inflammation) was transferred to the 60-day injured list. The 31-year-old southpaw has just two games of prior major-league experience, both of which came with Seattle last summer.
In those two outings, Bernardino yielded three runs (one earned) on three hits, two walks, and no strikeouts across 2 1/3 innings in which he threw 26 sinkers and 15 curveballs. The 6-foot-4, 180-pounder made one appearance for the WooSox on Friday and struck out two over two scoreless frames of relief against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
While he is up, Bernardino should provide the Red Sox with some much needed left-handed bullpen depth. With Joely Rodriguez (right oblique strain) still on the 15-day injured list, Richard Bleier had been the lone lefty reliever available to manager Alex Cora going back to Opening Day.
Bernardino will wear the No. 83 for the Red Sox, becoming just the third player in franchise history to do so and the first since Eduard Bazardo wore it in parts of two seasons (2021-2022) with the club.
(Picture of Brayan Bello: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)