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Red Sox Links: Masataka Yoshida Will Hit Cleanup

Plus, updates on Brayan Bello, Tanner Houck, and Richard Bleier

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2023 World Baseball Classic: Quarterfinals Team Italy v. Team Japan Photo by Mary DeCicco/WBCI/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Brayan Bello is back! And he’s already putting some of the lessons imparted by Pedro Martinez in the offseason to work. Well, that’s one less thing to worry about. (Alex Speier, Boston Globe)

Bello isn’t the only young pitcher hoping to have a regular spot in the rotation this year. And to that end, Tanner Houck is trying to expand his arsenal in hopes of being looked at as more than just a bullpen arm. (Jen McCaffrey, The Athletic)

Richard Bleier is the complete opposite of a young pitcher hoping to have a regular spot in the rotation: he’s an old dude who’s comfortably in the bullpen. And he just got back from playing with Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic and loved every minute of it. (Peter Abraham, Boston Globe)

We still don’t know who will be leading off when the season opens next week, but the heart of the order appears to be more or less set. Cora says he’s going with Devers, Turner, and Yoshida in the 2, 3, and 4 spots (Christopher Smith, MassLive)

The history of Japanese power hitters transitioning to Major League Baseball isn’t filled with success stories. Here’s hoping Masataka Yoshida’s strong showing the World Baseball Classic means he can be an exception to that. (John Tomase, NBC Sports)

The Adalberto Mondesi trade is complete, with the Red Sox receiving 19-year-old infield prospect Angel Pierre as the player-to-be-named-later. He put up good numbers in the Dominican Summer League last year, but was also older than most of his competition. (Darren Hartwell, NBC Sports)