After getting traded, Christian Vázquez still alerted the Red Sox to Brayan Bello’s injury during game
As he stood in his new home dugout at Minute Maid Park, Vázquez noticed that something looked off with Boston’s rookie pitcher, Brayan Bello, who stood on the mound in the bottom of the third inning. He’d only thrown 16 pitches, but the catcher could tell something was off. He gestured to his former manager across the diamond; Alex Cora had also picked up on a potential issue.
After the game, Cora expressed appreciation for Vázquez’s assist:
"“I saw it actually right before that at-bat, he was stretching out. Then he threw two pitches, he didn’t do much, and that one he stepped back. So, there was a catcher on the other side paying a lot of attention, too, and pointed and I was like ‘I got it, yeah.’ Hopefully it’s nothing serious, something that is X amount of days and he can be OK.”"
It’s not surprising that Vázquez would try to alert his former team; loyalty doesn’t just evaporate overnight. Until Monday, he was their longest-tenured member, having been drafted in 2008. Vázquez debuted after Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr., but he’d been with the organization longer than anyone else, and made it clear that he’d love to return when he reaches free agency at the end of this season.
Vázquez also helped his former team in another way. He went 0-for-5 against the Boston pitchers he used to catch, and the Sox took two of the three games in Houston.
Brayan Bello joins long list of injured Red Sox players
Bello made his debut less than a month ago, and the top prospect’s injury comes at an unfortunate time, as he was just starting to find his footing in the big leagues. After allowing four or five earned runs in each of his first three starts, he looked solid out of the bullpen, only giving up two earned runs and striking out six batters over his last five innings of work.
The Sox officially placed their rookie pitcher on the 15-Day Injured List on Thursday, so he’ll join several other pitchers on the sidelines. Josh Taylor, James Paxton, Tyler Danish, Chris Sale, Matt Strahm, and Michael Wacha are all at various stages of either recovery or rehab. Rich Hill returned on Wednesday night, and Bello was the pitcher who came in to relieve him after he allowed
Boston wasn’t a huge seller at this week’s trade deadline, but they’ll need some, if not all of these pitchers back if they really want to contend. Hopefully, Bello isn’t sidelined for long.