Troncoso was out of options and was unlikely to make the team, even with Blake Hawksworth not being ready to start the season; allowing eight hits in five spring innings didn’t exactly do much to improve his case, anyway. Originally signed in 2002, Troncoso made his big-league debut in the second game of 2008, inducing an inning-ending double play after Derek Lowe and Joe Beimel had run into trouble against the Giants. The high point of his career came in 2009, when he got into 73 games with a 2.72 ERA, but then fell apart in 2010 after early overuse and was downright awful last year, allowing a whopping 38 hits in 22.2 MLB innings. Though it’s popular (and fun!) to blame Joe Torre for Troncoso’s collapse, it was pretty easy to make the argument that he was never as good as 2009 made him seem anyway.
Though Troncoso wasn’t going to make the team regardless, this does add just a bit more clarity into the battle for the final bullpen spot, where Jamey Wright & John Grabow have to be seen as frontrunners, with Josh Lindblom, Fernando Nieve, Scott Rice, and Angel Guzman all still holding out hope. If Troncoso makes it through waivers, we may yet see him remain with the organization in what should be a wide-open Triple-A bullpen.
As for Belisario, well, we all know he’s suspended for the first 25 games of the season, and that suspension can’t take place unless he’s added to the 40-man roster. As far as I know this move didn’t have to happen until the season starts, but there’s also no sense in holding Troncoso back from finding work elsewhere if you’re absolutely sure he’s not going to make the club. So long, Ramon. We’ll always have that time you drove in the only run of your career on a bases-loaded walk.