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Red Sox lose yet another starting pitcher to injury as Brayan Bello lands on IL with lat tightness

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The Boston Red Sox placed right-handed starter Bryan Bello on the injured list on Wednesday because of right lat tightness, the team announced. In a corresponding move, the Red Sox recalled righty Zack Kelly from Triple-A Worcester to fill the vacated spot on the active roster.

Bello, 24, had been a bright spot for Boston in the early going. Over the course of his first five starts, he had amassed a 3.04 ERA (137 ERA+) and a 3.71 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Bello’s contributions had been estimated to be worth 0.5 Wins Above Replacement, according to the calculations housed at Baseball Reference.

Baseball Prospectus’ injury database suggests that pitchers with lat tightness miss an average of 50 days. Every player and every injury is unique in its own way, as such, it would be irresponsible to assume Bello will miss exactly that amount of time. Nevertheless, it’s within the realm of possibility that he’s absent into the summer.

Bello is the latest member of Boston’s expected rotation to be sidelined by an injury. The Red Sox are currently without Lucas Giolito, Nick Pivetta, and Garrett Whitlock, as well as depth options like Chris Murphy and Bryan Mata. Boston has instead had to lean on the likes of Josh Winckowski, Tanner Houck, and Cooper Criswell. To those replacements’ credit, they’ve mostly delivered: the Red Sox entered Wednesday ranked first in Major League Baseball in staff ERA, including first in rotation ERA.

The Red Sox, 13-11 on the young season, signed Bello to a six-year extension worth $55 million back in March. Boston is slated to continue their series with the Cleveland Guardians on Wednesday and Thursday before returning home to host the Chicago Cubs for a weekend series.

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