Red Sox clearly worried about Brayan Bello after latest rotation decision

Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox / Winslow Townson/GettyImages

The Red Sox set Brayan Bello up to be the sort-of "ace" of their pitching staff. The homegrown, young hurler was awarded Boston's Opening Day start, and therefore the top spot in the rotation.

He started off strong, like the rest of the Red Sox's starters when the squad owned the best ERA in the majors at the beginning of the 2024 campaign. But for the past two months, Bello has struggled — so much so that his next start has been reassigned to the recently-promoted Josh Winckowski.

Bello has pitched to a 7.20 ERA in his last seven starts. He's given up three homers and walked 20 batters. In his seven prior outings, he only walked nine.

The Red Sox's rotation as a whole was knocked around in May and June — Kutter Crawford and Nick Pivetta have been plagued by the long ball, and Tanner Houck is still pitching well, but looks human after an insane start. Bello has undergone the most severe changes in the quality of his outings and he now owns a 5.55 ERA, the highest Boston's rotation has seen all year.

Red Sox have reassigned Brayan Bello's next start to Josh Winckowski

The 25-year-old has struggled to maintain his command and his emotions from the mound, but it's hard to pinpoint the root cause of his troubles. Batters have crushed his usually-dominant sinker and it seems to be throwing him for a loop. Bello himself said, "[he doesn't] really know what's going on."

His outing against the Blue Jays on June 25 was his shortest of the season, and the last straw for his coaching staff. Bello only got through 2 1/3 frames against Toronto and allowed seven runs, although it's arguable that one was caused by sloppy defense by Enmanuel Valdez and Wilyer Abreu. But after his latest rough showing, the Red Sox will allow the righty to rest and reflect.

Winckowski was the star of the Sox's loss to the Blue Jays. He was called back up to the majors after nearly two months in Worcester, where he'd been training as a starter. It paid off for Boston — he pitched six innings, fanned eight batters, and allowed two runs.

The Red Sox sent Cooper Criswell to Triple-A on June 18, and without Bello, the rotation is down two of its regular starters. Winckowski should fill in for Bello nicely, particularly after his long relief outing, but hopefully, Bello can figure his stuff out.

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