Brayan Bello finished with forearm pain and other notes from the Red Sox camp
FORT MYERS, Fla. — There are many veteran pitchers in the Red Sox camp this season with long injury histories, but the first pitcher sidelined by sore muscles this spring has a much shorter résumé.
The Red Sox shut down second-year pitcher Brayan Bello for at least a couple of days with forearm pain on Friday. The hope is it’s a bit of a sore muscle and he returns to throwing on Monday, but given his importance to the team they are playing extra cautiously with the young right-hander.
“Nothing alarming, but obviously he’s so important to the organization and what we’re trying to achieve,” said manager Alex Cora. “He will be back in his throwing program on Monday.”
Bello threw a bullpen earlier this week and complained of pain shortly after. The 23-year-old threw 96 innings between Double A and Triple A last season before throwing an additional 57 1/3 innings after making his debut in the majors in July.
Cora wanted to make sure Bello wasn’t trying to weather an injury that had struck over the winter.
“I actually spoke to him, one of those heart-to-hearts, did this happen here or before?” Kora said. “He was like, no, no (here). He threw a lot of breaking balls in that bullpen to work on stuff. It was like another bullpen to him. He felt it but we are very confident that he will be back in his throwing program on Monday and we will continue from there.
Nonetheless, Bello’s status will be closely monitored in the coming days. With Chris Sale, Corey Kluber and James Paxton all having long injury histories, and Garrett Whitlock and Tanner Houck also having surgery last season, the Red Sox plan to slowly bring most of the group with them. But an injury to Bello would be a rough start to the spring, so the Red Sox will wait and see where the young right-hander stands on Monday after a few days off.
Notes from camp:
• Kluber threw his first bullpen of camp Friday. The right-hander made 31 starts with a 4.34 ERA for the Rays last year in his first fully healthy season since 2018.
“In this respect, only the mental side, knowing that I can still do it,” Kluber, who will be 37 in April, looks back on a healthy year. “Even if you believe in yourself, when you go through injuries for a few years in a row there’s always some doubt in the back of your mind, am I going to do the right things? the wrong things? do i have to change But being able to get through a season healthy and feeling like I’ve found a good new routine to help me do that makes me excited for the year.”
• James Paxton is back to full strength after falling out in August with a sprained lat. He threw eight bullpens this winter and had his first bullpen of Red Sox camp on Thursday. Paxton said it’s nice to do regular spring training drills that most pitchers find boring but he hasn’t done in a while.
After the Red Sox turned down a two-year, $26 million club option this winter, the left-hander exercised a player option on his $4 million contract to remain in Boston. He probably could have made more money in the free agent market, even after recovering from injury, but chose to stick with a training staff and environment that made him comfortable.
“I haven’t pitched healthy in about three years,” he said. “I am feeling good here. You know me. I know you. I’m trying to sort of re-establish myself in the big leagues and I felt like this was a good place to do it.”
• Whitlock and Houck threw their first bullpens of camp on Friday and appeared perfectly healthy.
• The Red Sox signed infielder Yu Chang on Thursday. Chang made a brief appearance with the club in September before being called up for the off-season. Chang will provide additional depth for the Red Sox at shortstop while Adalberto Mondesi continues his rehab following ACL surgery.
“We know Mondi, there’s a chance he’s not ready for opening day,” said Cora. “So we need a deeper squad and with him we’re getting there.”
“His defense was good,” Cora added. “He put up good bats but defensively he’s solid. You can move it, good athlete.”
To make room on the 40-man list, the Red Sox placed Trevor Story on the 60-day injury list.
• Cora does not rule out different set-up constructions. While Masataka Yoshida could start, he also said that Kiké Hernández and Alex Verdugo are options. Yoshida doesn’t have much leadoff experience, having finished third or fourth in Japan, and might need some time to adjust to the league’s pitching before he takes on a leadoff role.
• Cora pointed out that Jarren Duran could be considered for a fourth outfield spot alongside Rob Refsnyder.
• Yoshida has been impressed with the facilities so far.
“That’s a really great complex,” he said through interpreter Kento Matsumoto, who is also a scout who helped identify Yoshida. “I would say a lot better than the Japanese and I feel really great knowing the players and coaches here.”
• Justin Turner spoke about his decision to wear No. 2. “I was born at 2:22 a.m. My dad was always number 2. My cousin was always number 2. I’ve had number 2 since I was 4 years old.”
Still, Turner understands the significance of the number in Boston, since Jerry Remy and Xander Bogaerts wore it.
“I didn’t really have a lot of options and they asked me if I would be okay with wearing No. 2,” he said. “I know of course there is a story there with Bogey and Remy and I’ve been reading a bit on social media. Hopefully I’ll make Remy proud of what I’m doing and what I’ve achieved. And I know a lot of guys have worn #2 before me and it’s a big deal. I don’t take it lightly.”
• Adam Duvall arrived on Friday and looks forward to making midfield work more enjoyable. Duvall, who underwent wrist surgery last summer, said his wrist has fully healed and he’s in full swing this spring. Duvall said he’s been running a lot this winter in preparation for creating more space in midfield than in the corners of outfield where he usually plays.
As for getting used to new outfield teammates, he said the World Baseball Classic will shorten their time, but he still believes he’ll have plenty of time to get to know Verdugo and Yoshida.
“You’re like the captain out there,” Duvall said. “So you have to be very vocal with the lads and make sure everyone is in the right place depending on where you’re shaded and from a midfield perspective that’s the most important thing to make sure you know everyone’s changing and maneuvering on the same way in the outfield.
• Catcher Jorge Alfaro has been held up by visa problems. Nevertheless, he is expected in the camp in the next few days.
• Nick Pivetta is recovering from COVID-19. He was forced to leave the back fields on Friday after running out of air during some no-throw practices. Cora said he’s still rebuilding but should be fine soon.
(Top Photo by Bello: Brian Fluharty/Getty Images)
https://theathletic.com/4221120/2023/02/17/brayan-bello-forearm-soreness-red-sox/ Brayan Bello finished with forearm pain and other notes from the Red Sox camp