Ronald Belisario Is Suspended, And That’s Great News

December 21, 2011 at 6:55 am | Posted in Ronald Belisario | 28 Comments

Via Steve Dilbeck, we’ve learned that if Ronald Belisario actually does show up to camp this year, he’ll be suspended for the first 25 games of the season. We don’t know exactly why that is or even when the offense took place – I’m guessing it’s not a coincidence that this comes out the day after we find out he might actually get a visa – but considering his history and how much of his last three years have been shrouded in mystery, it’s not exactly a surprise.

While it’s rare that a suspension can be seen as a positive,  I think in this case, it is, because it gives the Dodgers more time to evaluate what they have. Belisario is a completely unreliable quantity at this point, following up his surprisingly good 2009 with an underwhelming (though, I’d argue, somewhat underrated) 2010 and a completely lost 2011. Though he’s been pitching in Venezuelan leagues, it’s anyone’s guess what kind of shape he’s in or if his demons are truly behind him. Since he’s out of options, the team would be forced to carry him on the roster, trade him, or expose him to waivers if they wanted to send him down. The suspension allows them until about the end of April to evaluate him under the eyes of team personnel, either in Los Angeles or Arizona, and it also gives them time to see how the rest of their bullpen shakes out, because someone always gets hurt or is brutally ineffective in the first month.

It’s not like they’re desperate for him immediately, anyway. The Dodgers usually carry seven relievers as part of a twelve-man staff, and if the season were to start today, five spots in the bullpen are all but guaranteed:

R Javy Guerra
R Kenley Jansen
R Matt Guerrier
R Blake Hawksworth
L Scott Elbert

The sixth man is almost certainly going to be Josh Lindblom, who impressed in his debut last year, though since he has options remaining his spot isn’t completely guaranteed. The final spot, as usual, will be a battle between non-roster invites like John Grabow, Wil Ledezma, Angel Guzman & friends, young players pushing for a job like Nathan Eovaldi & Shawn Tolleson, and whatever veteran reliever Ned Colletti insists he’s still going to bring in, whether it’s Mike MacDougal or someone like him.

Anyway, it’s all moot until Belisario actually shows up, which I won’t believe until I physically see him on the mound. If he’s not as good as his 2009 2.04 ERA would have you believe, nor was he as poor as his 2010 5.04 mark would suggest, and he could be an interesting piece out of the ‘pen. Frankly, I don’t mind waiting an extra month to find out.


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  1. Should be interesting. The bullpen is shaping up to be pretty good.

    Couldnt they keep him on the restricted list, until he serves his suspension?

    • I’m pretty sure – but admittedly not 100% sure – that the suspension wouldn’t start until he’s off the restricted list.

      • I think the Suspended List is similar to the Restricted List. No 40 man roster spot, no options used, no pay, etc.

        • Unless I missed his signing somewhere in the last week, Gomes is a FA and could be had without a trade. I actually was hoping we might pick him up earlier on in the season as he crushes lefties and would have been a great platoon partner for Ethier/Loney. I think the bench is far too full with mediocrity now for any more bats to be added.

  2. [...] argues that it gives the Dodgers time to evaluate what they have, but I can’t see myself twisting this [...]

  3. Here it is, this what we have been waiting on….. Ronald Belasario- ok Ned put him on the block, trade him for a bat, we got plenty of bullpen help- there are teams looking for power arms in their pen- Belasario to someone for a bat with some pop for our bench- Johnny Gomes or Bobby Abreu come to mind as potential pieces

    • Why would anyone give up any value for a guy as unreliable as Belisario?

    • If we could get a piece like that for him, it would be hilariously cool. Especially if the Angels paid most of Abreu’s salary. It isn’t going to happen, however.

  4. Belisario totally messed up Ned’s plans to overpay for another veteran RP. Way to go Ned in sticking to your convictions. Go get that creamy veteran goodness. Hmmm….hmmmm.

    • I get nervous every time I see the headline on talking about Ned participating in a charity event with Magic Johnson. What if the new owner lets him keep his job?

  5. Genius

  6. There’s no way the sixth man is Lindblom. Seriously, from what I’ve learned about Ned over this time, expect two new veteran relievers for the sixth and seventh guys. Lindblom will probably still see time once someone gets injured, but there’s no way Ned will plan on starting with him on the roster until he’s out of options and there’s literally no choice.

    • Sadly, I agree.

  7. Eugenio Velez to the Cards. How does someone who sucks so hard continue to get signed?!

    • It’s a minor-league deal. Have to have someone to fill out Triple-A.

      • Damn I sorta wished he would’ve gotten a chance to continue his 0 for infinity streak

        • He might. I wouldn’t be totally surprised if he got called up mid season after some injuries.

  8. From SweetSpots David Schoenfield today
    Designing a team based upon free agents not yet signed:
    1B: Prince Fielder
    We’re going to empty our pocketbooks and have the big guy anchor our lineup. We’ll sign him to a seven-year, $165 million contract, but we’ll backload the deal. That way, if we get fired, it screws the next GM.

    Projected salary: $20 million
    Projected WAR: 5.0

    2B: Ryan Theriot
    Honestly, he doesn’t bring a whole lot to the table other than a proven ability not to be horrible. He’ll hit an empty .270 or so and play capable defense.

    Projected salary: $2 million
    Projected WAR: 0.7 (unquote)

    Sounds like he is describing Ned in the Fielder write up and to say that Theriot has a proven ability to not be horrible might get an argument from some Dodger fans

  9. So if we do have Belisario come May, which is a huge IF, I would love to see Guerra traded. In fact, I would love to see him traded regardless. Belisario doesn’t matter when we have decent depth, and a few minor leaguers that could fill a hole or two.

    Unfortunately, our GM is Ned Colletti. I wouldn’t be surprised if he thinks Guerra and Jansen are close to equal in value. Considering all that, I do NOT want Guerra to be traded.

    To sum up: Guerra being traded by the Dodgers = GOOD. Guerra being traded by Colletti= BAD.

    • Actually, to clarify, I can’t see Colletti dealing Guerra for someone that I wouldn’t want. Ned probably values saves and whatnot. HOWEVER, I am occasionally terrified that he would trade Jansen for someone crappy. I’m sure he thinks Jansen is somewhat expendable.

  10. he had a DUI towards the end of the season before last ended, didnt he?

  11. Any chance we see an article on the minicamp thats gonna be held in January with your opinion on the players Mike? i see timmy wallachs boy was invited

  12. I don’t think Elbert’s job is as guaranteed as the rest of that list (but I’m pulling for him). Personally, I’m hoping they give Lindblom a chance. It wasn’t long ago that he was considered one of the top pitching prospects in the Dodgers system.

    • Why is there doubt on Elbert? He’s the only left-hander and he was solid last year, don’t see any reason he’s not a lock, but am open to your thoughts?

      • Elbert is out of options, and he would almost certainly get claimed. He’s all but guaranteed a spot.

  13. Ned must really be kicking himself over Mark DeRosa.

    The ultimate gritty, injury-prone vet who’ll give you a professional at bat.

  14. I am so glad that Ned struck early and signed all of the good players and now the other teams are signing the crumbs like Beltran and making trades for players who will never make the MLB like Gonzalez!

  15. Where have you gone, Belisario?
    Colletti turns his lonely eyes to you (woo woo woo).

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