The Red Sox need a starting pitcher to face the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night and their choice is highly regarded prospect Brayan Bello.
Bello was informed of the decision Monday night by Triple A manager Chad Tracy, according to Mass Live.
The 23-year-old righthander from the Dominican Republic is 10-4 with a 2.33 earned run average in 15 minor league games this season, 14 of them starts. He has 114 strikeouts over 85 innings.
Bello is 6-2 with a 2.81 ERA in nine games for Triple A Worcester. He last pitched Friday, lining him up perfectly for the game.
Bello has vaulted up the prospect charts this season after dominating hitters in Double A and largely maintaining that against older competition in Triple A.
He pitched 5⅓ shutout innings Friday against Rochester, allowing two hits and striking out eight with three walks.
Bello will face righthander Corey Kluber.
Chris Sale was not considered for the opening. He will stay on his rehabilitation assignment and pitch for Worcester on Wednesday night.
“We were joking. I said, ‘Man, it’s sold out already. We can’t disappoint the people in Worcester,’ ” Sox manager Alex Cora said before a 4-0 victory against the Rays. “It’ll be good for him to go over there and compete. He feels really good.”
Sale, who was at Fenway Park on Monday, has pitched 7⅔ innings in three minor league starts. He has been on the injured list all season recovering from a fractured rib suffered in March.
“I talked to him a little bit. He’s ready to go,” Cora said. “If it’s up to him, he’ll pitch [at Fenway on Wednesday]. But I think one more, maybe two, down there. Go compete on Wednesday and we’ll decide what we do next.”
Kiké Hernández, who hasn’t played since June 7 because of a right hip flexor strain, was smiling as he walked through the clubhouse before Monday’s game.
He took some swings Saturday and again Monday and is feeling much better. It’s now less about the injury and more preparing to play after a long shutdown.
“It’s like spring training,” Hernández said. “We’ll see how it progresses.”
The tentative plan is for Hernández to start a minor league rehabilitation assignment later this week.
Pitchers Nate Eovaldi (back) and Garrett Whitlock (right hip) are scheduled for two-inning bullpen sessions on Tuesday as they work their way back from injuries.
The step after that would be facing hitters.
“From there we’ll decide what we want to do,” Cora said.
Michael Wacha, who was scratched from his start Monday with what the team said was a “heavy arm,” remains on the active roster pending further examination.
Rich Hill, who is out with a sprained left knee, had an MRI in Chicago over the weekend. It revealed tearing in a ligament but he hopes to miss only 2-4 weeks.
“We can manage it. It’s not season-ending,” he said.
Hill will be fitted for a brace Tuesday.
Xander Bogaerts, who needed seven stitches to close a cut after being spiked Sunday, was out of the lineup. He texted Cora early to say he was still sore.
The hope is he will be able to play Tuesday.
Josh Taylor, who has pitched in six minor league games since June 21, remains on a rehab assignment. With three lefthanded relievers already on the roster, the Sox seem to be stalling for time.
“We’re going to map out the plan, what’s next for him,” Cora said.
The Rays had a busy day of transactions. They reinstated lefthanded reliever Brooks Raley and righthanded reliever Ryan Thompson from the restricted list. Both are unvaccinated and didn’t travel to Toronto. Righthanders Javy Guerra and Phoenix Sanders were returned to Triple A Durham. The Rays also recalled lefthander Josh Fleming and optioned righthander Cristofer Ogando. J.P. Feyereisen was moved to the 60-day injured list to open a 40-man roster spot for Ogando … As part of the pregame ceremonies to mark Independence Day, the Sox introduced 21 team employees who are veterans. The national anthem was performed by Airman First Class Benton Felty with the color guard from the USS Constitution. Admiral Karl Schultz (ret.) threw out the first pitch. The Connecticut native was commandant of the Coast Guard from June 1, 2018 until June 1, 2022 ... The Sox have won eight consecutive games on July 4.
Peter Abraham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.