Thursday, March 11, 2010
Belisario still not in camp
By Tony Jackson
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario, who still hasn't reported to spring training because of visa problems in his native Venezuela, missed three appointments at the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, a Venezuelan newspaper reported. The purpose of those appointments was to help clear up the problems and expedite Belisario's travel to the U.S.
The paper also reported Belisario left his Venezuelan Winter League team in the middle of the season without explanation.
With opening day less than four weeks away, the Dodgers would be allowed to suspend Belisario indefinitely if he were deemed to be in less than top physical condition when he reports to camp.
Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said he has been given no indication of when Belisario might show up or why he has missed the appointments.
"You would think that when you have the opportunity to make a living throwing a baseball, and the opportunity presents itself to pitch in the big leagues, support your family and build a career, that would be something you would pursue to the fullest,'' Colletti said.
Belisario posted a 2.04 ERA in 69 appearances as a rookie last season and would have been a lock for a bullpen spot if he had arrived on time, or anywhere close to on time.
Colletti reiterated his stance that the Dodgers are moving on without Belisario.
"I can't worry about things that I have zero control over or people I have zero control over,'' Colletti said. "If he shows, he shows. If he doesn't, he doesn't.''
Colletti said he isn't considering releasing Belisario -- a move that would allow him to become a free agent and sign with another club -- but that the Dodgers could place Belisario on the restricted list, which would remove him from the 40-man roster but keep him under club control.
Belisario also was late to spring training last year and then assigned to minor league camp within days of his arrival. But he was impressive enough there, and in a couple of late spring Cactus League games when he was borrowed to fill out the roster, to earn a spot in the majors to begin the season.
He was charged with DUI in Pasadena, Calif., last summer, a case that is still unresolved.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.