The Red Sox are losing their top pitching prospect, at least at the start of the season, if not longer.
Right-handed Bryan Mata, 21, has a slight tear in his ulnar collateral ligament and is being closed indefinitely.
Mata had triceps pain this week and the Red Sox didn’t think it was serious until an MRI revealed the UCL damage.
Mata does not undergo surgery and instead tries to rest and rehabilitate to recover.
“The doctors and doctors feel that it is small enough for him to be comfortable with the treatment,” said manager Alex Cora. “Obviously it will take some time. There is no schedule. ”
With a fastball playing in the high 90s and developing off-speed courses, Mata has quickly climbed through the ranks in the small leagues and, as a 20-year-old double-A in 2019, gave him a chance to impress this spring.
“If he is disciplined and does everything we want to do, there is hope that he will come back,” said Cora. “He is very important to us. It’s a tough question. ”
Cora stressed that patience was key to Mata’s recovery, but noted that having the UCL involved was frightening.
“He’s young enough where things are probably going very quickly at the moment,” said Cora. “But he’s mature enough to understand that these things will happen in your career. He did a great job in the off-season getting in shape and getting his arm where it’s supposed to be. It’s an obstacle in his career, but we believe he will bounce back and be fine. ”
Casas returns to the club
Triston Casas, the club’s top candidate detained in Boston for a non-baseball medical problem, has returned to Fort Myers and will meet with the team’s medical department to see what baseball activities to begin with.
Cora wouldn’t give more details about Casas’ condition but said, “I think a lot of people are feeling better the last few days.”
Outfielder Franchy Cordero made it to the Red Sox Camp for the first time on Saturday morning. He arrived late after addressing COVID-19-related issues after the Kansas City Royals traded for Andrew Benintendi. Cordero is likely to appear in his first Grapefruit League game soon.
“He’s back a bit physically,” said Cora. “But with the kind of athlete he is and his physicality … he should be able to catch up pretty quickly.
“We have to communicate with the player and make sure he understands that he doesn’t have to rush. Whenever he’s ready, he’s ready. We still have a lot of time on bats. ”
Ryan Weber will start the Red Sox’s game against the twins on Saturday and pitch two innings. The game will only last five innings.
Garrett Richards will start against the Braves on Sunday and the Sox will play nine innings. He is slated to throw three innings.