Belisario with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2013
|Leones de Yucatán – No. 99|
|Born: December 31, 1982|
|April 7, 2009, for the Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Earned run average||3.85|
Ronald J. Belisario (last name sometimes spelled Belizario) (born December 31, 1982) is a Venezuelan professional baseball pitcher for the Leones de Yucatán of the Mexican Baseball League. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox and Tampa Bay Rays.
Belisario was signed by the Florida Marlins as a 16-year-old amateur free agent in 1998, playing in the rookie-class Venezuelan Summer League in 2000 and rookie-class Gulf Coast League in 2001. He played with various "A" ball teams in 2003–04. He was placed on the Marlins 40 man roster in September 2004 but missed the 2005 season because of undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. He also missed the 2006 season because of an unspecified suspension.
Los Angeles Dodgers
He signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with the Los Angeles Dodgers for 2009. He was late in showing up for spring training because of some visa problems in his home country, so did not get a chance to compete until late in the spring. However, he pitched well in the last few spring training games and was added to the Dodgers opening day roster on April 6, 2009. Belisario made his Major League debut on April 7, working one scoreless inning as a relief pitcher against the San Diego Padres. He pitched in 69 games for the Dodgers out of the bullpen in 2009, finishing 4–3 with a 2.04 ERA and 64 strikeouts.
Belisario was expected to be on the Dodgers opening day roster for 2010, but again had visa problems in Venezuela. His status was complicated by a driving under the influence charge that had been filed against him in Pasadena, California. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge through his attorney but did not report to spring training until March 27, at which point he was placed on the restricted list. He did not rejoin the Dodgers until April 21. On July 7, 2010, Belisario was again placed on the restricted list by the Dodgers for unknown reasons. He eventually rejoined the team on August 10. He finished the season 3–1 with a high 5.04 ERA in 551⁄3 innings worked.
For the third year in a row, Belisario did not report on time for spring training in 2011 due to problems in Venezuela. The team reported that he would be absent "indefinitely" and that they did not know when, or even if, he would report for the 2011 season. He was placed on the restricted list to start the season and on April 19, it was revealed that he would not receive a visa in 2011.
On December 20, 2011 Belisario's agent stated that he had gotten a five-year visa and would be in Arizona on time for the start of 2012 spring training. However, it was also revealed that he would have to serve a 25-game suspension at the start of the season for an unspecified violation of MLB's drug policy. In February, Belisario admitted that he had not been able to obtain a visa in 2011 because he had tested positive for cocaine, which had also led to his suspension.
After serving his suspension, and a handful of minor league appearances, Belisario finally rejoined the Dodgers when he was activated off the restricted list on May 3, 2012. He went on to pitch in 68 games for the Dodgers with an 8–1 record and 2.54 ERA.
In March 2013 he represented Venezuela at the 2013 World Baseball Classic. He was suspended for one game on June 14 as a result of his actions during a bench-clearing brawl with the Arizona Diamondbacks on June 11. Belisario appeared in a team high 77 games for the Dodgers in 2013, and was 5-7 with a 3.97 ERA. After the season, Belisario was non-tendered by the Dodgers, becoming a free agent.
Chicago White Sox
On May 20, Belisario earned his first save as a member of the White Sox. The next day, Belisario was named the new White Sox closer, after it was announced that former closer Matt Lindstrom would need ankle surgery. On May 24, Belisario entered a game in which the White Sox lead the New York Yankees 3-0, after 8 shutout innings by starter John Danks. However, things would quickly go south, as Belisario gave up 3 runs off 4 hits. The White Sox would go to the bottom of the 9th inning now tied 3-3, as Belisario was hailed with boos leaving the field. The Yankees would go on to win the game 4-3 in 10 innings. Despite Belisario's collapse, White Sox manager Robin Ventura remained confident with Belisario as the closer. However, in a game against the Cleveland Indians on May 26, Belisario was passed up on a save opportunity in favor of fellow reliever Scott Downs.
Tampa Bay Rays
On January 31, 2015, Belisario signed a minor league contract with the Tampa Bay Rays. It had been reported on January 29 that Belisario had agreed to a minor league deal with the Toronto Blue Jays, but the deal fell through for unknown reasons. He elected free agency on July 4, 2015 after being designated for assignment by the Rays. He had a 7.88 ERA.
Boston Red Sox
On July 12, 2015, Belisario signed a minor league contract with the Red Sox. On August 4, 2015, Belisario was released by the Red Sox.
Leones de Yucatán
Belisario is a sinkerballer. He throws a hard, heavy sinker with excellent movement at an average of 95 mph on more than 60% of his pitches overall. He also features a four-seam fastball and a slider (to right-handed hitters).
- "Dodgers move forward sans Belisario". Losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com. Retrieved 2013-08-27.
- "Dodgers: Ronald Belisario still out and no one knows when he'll return". Los Angeles Times.
- "Dodgers prepared to work without Belisario". Losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com. 2013-05-24. Retrieved 2013-08-27.
- Ronald Belisario won’t receive a visa[dead link]
- "Ronald Belisario receives visa, is expected to rejoin Dodgers". Latimesblogs.latimes.com. 2011-12-20. Retrieved 2013-08-27.
- "Ronald Belisario suspended for 25 games". Latimesblogs.latimes.com. 2011-12-20. Retrieved 2013-08-27.
- Jackson, Tony. "Ronald Belisario admits cocaine use". espn.go.com. February 22, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
- Weisman, Jon (2012-05-03). "Dodgers bid farewell to MacDougal, reinstate Belisario". Dodgerthoughts.com. Retrieved 2013-08-27.
- "MLB disciplines D-backs, Dodgers for fracas". Mlb.mlb.com. 2013-06-14. Retrieved 2013-08-27.
- Twitter / Dodgers: Today, the #Dodgers non-tendered RHP Ronald Belisario, making him a free agent.
- Kruth, Cash (December 5, 2013). "White Sox agree to deal with reliever Belisario". MLB.com. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- Hayes, Dan (May 20, 2014). "Ronald Belisario earns first save for White Sox". CSN Chicago. Archived from the original on August 25, 2014. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- Hayes, Dan (May 21, 2014). "Surgery knocks White Sox closer Lindstrom out three months". CSN Chicago. Archived from the original on May 28, 2014. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- Ginnetti, Toni (June 26, 2014). "Closer Ronald Belisario can't hold lead for John Danks". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on August 19, 2014. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- Padilla, Doug (May 25, 2014). "Ventura decides to stick with Belisario". ESPN.
- Hoynes, Paul (May 26, 2014). "comments Cleveland Indians sunk once again by defense in 6-2 loss to White Sox". Northeast Ohio Media Group. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- "White Sox designate Belisario for assignment". ESPN.com. Associated Press. November 20, 2014. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- Adams, Steve (November 28, 2014). "Ronald Belisario Elects Free Agency". mlbtraderumors.com. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
- Johnson, Brad (January 31, 2015). "Rays Sign Ronald Belisario To Minor League Deal". mlbtraderumors.com. Retrieved January 31, 2015.
- Todd, Jeff (January 30, 2015). "Deal Between Blue Jays, Belisario Falls Through". mlbtraderumors.com. Retrieved January 31, 2015.
- Todd, Jeff (August 4, 2015). "Red Sox release Ronald Belisario". mlbtraderumors.com. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
- "Brooks Baseball · Home of the PitchFX Tool – Player Card: Ronald Belisario". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved 23 May 2012.