Relief pitcher Ronald Belisario of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws a pitch against the Florida Marlins at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
The Dodgers righthanded reliever missed 2011 with legal (and other) troubles. Now he's back, fighting for a spot in LA's bullpen.
Ronald Belisario was a very bad reliever for the Dodgers in 2010; he posted a 5.04 ERA and his strikeouts per nine innings dropped from 8.2 to 6.3. Belisario had substance-abuse and legal issues that kept him out of baseball in 2011, but MLB.com reporter Ken Gurnick reports that Belisario is in Dodgers camp, ready to perform in 2012:
On Tuesday, for the first time in his four Spring Trainings with the Dodgers, Ronald Belisario reported to camp on time.
In fact, Belisario has been working out at Camelback Ranch for several weeks, having obtained the work visa that eluded him throughout 2011.
Belisario wouldn't say what he did to get the 25-game suspension he still must serve. Dylan Hernandez:
Belisario said the treatment program he entered during the 2010 season wasn't for cocaine. Wouldn't say what it was for.— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) February 22, 2012
But, tweeted Ken Gurnick:
Ronald Belisario said he prwviosly tested positive for cocaine, He still must serve a 25-game suspension after missing all of 2011.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) February 22, 2012
Belisario has talent, as he showed three years ago. Between the fact that he has to serve the 25-game suspension (he can participate in spring training games and have a minor league rehab assignment before his return) and the fact that he's out of options, the Dodgers will have a tough call to make if Belisario throws well in camp. The reason for the suspension is still unclear.
But the Dodgers have a relatively inexperienced bullpen, and could use the help.