By Steve Dilbeck
2:51 PM PST, January 6, 2014
RONALD BELISARIO, 31, reliever
Final 2013 stats: 5-7, 3.97 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, .274 opponent batting average, 6.5 strikeouts per nine innings in 77 games.
Contract status: Dodgers did not tender him a contract last month and he became a free agent.
The good: Led Dodgers relievers with his 77 appearances (tied for third in the majors), and most came in the late innings. Had a 16-game stretch beginning on June 16 in which he did not allow a run and held opponents to a .146 batting average; and a 30-game stretch from there in which he allowed runs in only two games.
The bad: In his final 14 regular-season games he had a 7.43 ERA and opponents hit .300 off him. In a 19-game stretch beginning on May 3 he had a 6.62 ERA and a .385 opponent batting average.
On the season, left-handed hitters batted .305 against him. His WHIP and opponent batting average were career highs. In seven post-season appearances, he allowed three runs in 3 2/3 innings (7.37 ERA).
What’s next: Signed a one-year deal for $3 million with the Chicago White Sox, more than doubling his 2013 salary with the Dodgers.
The take: When he was good, he was very good. And when he was bad, he was very bad. The trouble was, he was almost equal parts both.
The Dodgers had understandably grown tired of his inconsistency when they elected to not tender him a contract. There were nights when he still looked like that nasty Venezuelan right-hander who seemed to come out of nowhere to electrify the Dodgers in 2009. There were just too many others when you could not be certain what you would get. His work ethic might have been a concern.
Now the annual suspense Belisario always provided on his spring training arrival date moves across the Camelback Ranch field to the White Sox.
The Dodgers’ bullpen is pretty loaded, so they seem in a better overall place without Belisario. Say this, though, he did always make it interesting.
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