I Don’t Know What Ronald Belisario Is, But He’s Not Mike MacDougal

I have no idea what kind of Ronald Belisario we’re going to see now that he’s been reinstated from the suspended list. The out-of-nowhere 2009 sensation? The 2010 disappointment who wasn’t great but wasn’t really as bad as people remember? The total flakewad who missed 2011 entirely? But I do know this: simply because he’s here and he exists, we no longer have to suffer the wrath of Mike MacDougal, DFA’d by the Dodgers today to make room.

I have to admit, even though this was clearly the right move – you just can’t send down Josh Lindblom after how good he’s been this year, and MacDougal has shown no ability to get anyone out – I’m still pretty surprised that this actually happened. MacDougal was signed to a guaranteed deal over the winter, and in a bullpen with one NRI (Jamey Wright) and a few guys with options remaining, the fact that the Dodgers chose to eat MacDougal’s deal rather than ship off Lindblom or gin up a phantom DL stint is encouraging. Hey, maybe Stan Kasten’s new fan email box is paying off already!

MacDougal, of course, probably was never worth that guaranteed deal in the first place, since his 2.05 ERA last year was one of the more misleading stat lines I can remember in some time. But hey, maybe some team desperate for bullpen help will actually take on his deal or give up some Low-A space filler for him. And if not, I’m sure he’ll be quite comfortable in Albuquerque. Either way, kudos to Ned Colletti (or whomever may have made this call) for doing the right thing.

As for Belisario, well, I’m very interested to see what he is. There’s a non-zero chance that he could potentially be a useful piece of the puzzle if he can find himself again, and the reports on his stuff have been encouraging. That said, the rehab results weren’t great (1 K, 2 BB, 8 hits allowed in 4.2 innings) and with Matt Guerrier on the mend, Blake Hawksworth looming after that, and intriguing minor league types like Shawn Tolleson, Scott Rice, and Josh Wall out there as well, Belisario is probably going to need to show his worth quickly. But hey, it’s win/win, because even if he’s terrible and gets cut, all it cost you was the services of Mike MacDougal. So there’s no downside here.

By the way, still no official word on Bobby Abreu, and now that Belisario has taken MacDougal’s 40-man spot, there remains one open spot for the veteran outfielder.