A strong start by Red Sox pitching prospect Bryan Mata may mean a brief stay in Worcester
BOSTON — Don’t blink.
It’s likely Red Sox pitching prospect Bryan Mata will start the season with the WooSox, but his stint in Worcester could be brief.
The right-hander began the 2022 season at Double-A Portland and posted a 5-2 record and a 1.85 ERA in 10 games for the Sea Dogs. He was promoted to Triple A and went 2-0 with a 3.47 ERA in five games for the WooSox.
With fans questioning many of the Red Sox’ offseason moves, Mata is a major bright spot for the club. His stuff, his power and his ability to start are all exciting attributes for the Red Sox. Mata has transformed his pitching repertoire, his body and his mindset to become a dangerous weapon for the Red Sox in the near future and beyond.
Joining fellow pitching prospect Brayan Bello as members of the Red Sox’ starting rotation could have a major impact in Boston. During his brief stint with the WooSox last season, he showcased his ability to consistently reach the high 90s with his fastball. He also reached triple digits more than once.
At the time, WooSox manager Chad Tracy and pitching coach Paul Abbott said it was fun to watch a pitcher throw the ball that hard with little effort. Along with his impressive fastball, Mata’s breaking ball and changeups are important to keep the opposing hitters off balance.
“At first, I was a little nervous going up to a different level of the organization,” Mata said of his time in Worcester. “Once I was able to settle in and find a routine, I felt really comfortable.”
After missing two seasons due to Tommy John surgery, remaining healthy is a priority for Mata in 2023. He regained arm strength last season, and even though he did not pitch in the big leagues, he was at least part of the discussion late in the season.
“It feels good going into a season and not having to worry about recovering from an injury, or rehabbing,” he said.
Mata was called up at the end of the season but did not pitch. Still, it was a learning experience.
“It was a great experience, a beautiful experience,” he said. “Just to be in that environment, surrounded by those guys is something I’m looking forward to soon.”
His goal for 2023 is simple: “Stay healthy. Be reliable and just compete.”
—Contact Joe McDonald at JMcDonald2@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter @JoeyMacHockey.
This article originally appeared on Telegram & Gazette: Red Sox prospect Bryan Mata's season in Worcester could be brief