Did Pedro Martinez help Red Sox unlock something in Brayan Bello’s arsenal?

One of Boston's young pitchers turned to a Red Sox legend to help improve his performance.

2024 Boston Red Sox Spring Training
2024 Boston Red Sox Spring Training / Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

Brayan Bello is one of Boston's most promising young arms when it comes to starting pitching. He has shown flashes of greatness but has also struggled as you'd expect a young player to.

However, it seems he has been working hard on trying to overcome those struggles and a Red Sox pitching legend has jumped in to help that process.

Bello is a native of the Dominican Republic, and for the second straight offseason he visited with fellow countryman and Hall-of-Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez to work on his pitches.

The two spent about days together, according to Christopher Smith of MassLive. What pitch did they focus most on? Well, it turns out they spent a lot of time on Bello's slider and took time checking his grip and working on improving his command with that specific pitch.

Did Pedro Martinez help Red Sox unlock something in Brayan Bello’s arsenal?

"I feel more confident with that pitch. I feel I can control it in any count," Bello said. "Like today in live BP, I used it and I felt really good about it. So it was a good offseason for that pitch. I feel like my confidence is up on that pitch.”

That is super encouraging because opponents crushed his slider in 2023 with a .304 average and .457 slugging against. That is not a recipe for success, and allows opponents to just sit on the fastball.

Martinez is very well known for showing off his pitch grips, and his ability to throw the breaking ball bell made him a perfect candidate to show Bello how to improve that pitch. It seems the altered grip has already paid dividends for Bello and could open up his potential to be a front-end starter for the Red Sox.

While it's strange to imagine Bello being the Opening Day starter for Boston, that's exactly his goal for 2024. He feels like Pedro helping gain more confidence in his secondary pitch will give him the ability to be a top-of-the-rotation option. Of course, this depends on his performance and if Boston decides to sign one of the top free agents remaining such as Jordan Montgomery.

He was asked if he believed he could be an ace for the Red Sox and he answered, "Yes, of course. That’s a goal that I have. I know it might not be this year or next year but that’s a goal I have for the long-term.”

Pedro is the perfect person to talk to if that's your goal and we imagine this won't be the last time we hear of the Boston legend helping Bello achieve that goal.

Manager Alex Cora mentioned that he noticed Bello is way ahead of where he was physically last spring. He thinks the youngster is stronger and much more prepared for the 2024 season and might surprise some folks.

His physical improvements should be a huge benefit for his stamina and allow him to sustain a great performance all season. Fans will remember how rough the final month of Bello's season was. He allowed 22 earned runs over 26 innings to close out the 2023 season.

While Red Sox fans haven't had much to celebrate with a less-than-stellar offseason to this point, hearing about Bello's work with Martinez and his growing confidence is a nice silver lining to consider. However, saying you feel more confident is one thing, but showing those results in a competitive environment is another thing. We'll see what happens on Sunday when Bello takes the bump.

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