Eric Gagne sent back to minors; Joe Torre says Ronald Belisario unlikely to be on opening day roster


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For the time being at least, the Eric Gagne experiment has closed. Gagne, who has struggled in his first three spring appearances (2 2/3 innings, six earned runs), has been reassigned to the minor league camp. His comeback is now facing a longer, more uncertain road.

Manager Joe Torre, back from Taiwan, also told reporters in Phoenix it now looked doubtful that Visa Boy Ronald Belisario would be ready for the start of the season. The reliever remains in Venezuela, still sans his visa.


‘I thought that the chances of Belisario being here when I got back were pretty good,’ Torre said. ‘I think he would be a long shot for the opening day roster.’

Also optioned to the minor league camp Monday was left-hander Scott Elbert, once considered to have an outside shot of earning the open fifth spot in the rotation.

Other players reassigned Monday: right-hander Francisco Felix, catcher Gabriel Gutierrez, outfielder Brian Barton, right-hander Scott Dohmann, outfielder Michael Restovich and infielder John Lindsey.

Right-hander Kenley Jansen was also optioned to the minor league camp, and left-hander Armando Zerpa, a Rule 5 draftee, was returned to Boston.

-- Steve Dilbeck