...besides the guy who struck out the side on 13 pitches in the sixth inning of today's game against the Padres? From Ken Gurnick at Dodgers.com:
The 26-year-old right-hander was signed as a Minor League free agent over the winter, discovered by scout Ron Rizzi while baffling hitters in the Venezuelan winter league. Originally signed 10 years ago by Florida, he's never pitched at a level higher than Double-A.
Belasario pitched in the Pittsburgh organization the past two seasons after missing 2005 and 2006 recovering from Tommy John elbow reconstruction. Last year, he was 4-4 with nine saves and a 4.74 ERA in 38 games with Double-A Altoona, but once he mastered a new pitch, his ERA over the final 31 games was 2.89. [...]
Belisario pitched in a "B" game the day he was sent down [early in spring training], then didn't reappear in a Major League game until pitching one mopup inning of a split-squad game March 16. Then he disappeared from the Major League side but was lights-out on the Minor League side with a late-action mid-90s fastball.
That's why assistant general manager DeJon Watson kept lobbying for Belisario to get another look. Desperate for bullpen help, the club called back Belisario and Giancarlo Alvarado.
Over the final week of Spring Training, Belisario appeared in three games, throwing five scoreless innings. Originally a starter, he's been a reliever since the elbow surgery, but said he has no problem throwing multiple innings.
And here's a scouting report from our Girl Friday on all things Venezuelan, Karina:
I'm also rooting for Belisario,not only because i love the fact he's a venezuelan wearing a Dodger uniform, but he's also someone with great talent who happened to have a little bit bad luck.
Last winter, he was the closer of one of the most beloved franchises in the country and he was just lights out. Journalists were making jokes maybe Tiburones wouldn't need Francisco Rodriguez for the closer role. Obviously, he lost the job, but he was the best set-up in the league last season.
I gotta say he pitched more than half of the season on a notorious hitters park.
So there you have it. Get to know Ronald Belisario—he could be around for a while.
Elsewhere: Who, Exactly, Is Ronald Belisario? (MSTI)
photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images