Belisario resolves visa problems
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario finally arrived at the team's spring training facility late on Saturday, about half an hour after the team's 3-1 Cactus League victory over the Seattle Mariners, about five weeks after the start of camp and one day after he was officially placed on the restricted list due to his extended absence.
Dodgers assistant general manager Kim Ng said Belisario can be kept on the restricted list for up to 30 days after being placed there on Friday, meaning he has to be either activated or waived -- he is out of minor league options -- by April 25.
Belisario is expected to dress in the major league clubhouse until the team breaks camp on Wednesday, but his activity will take place in minor league camp.
"We have to see what kind of shape he is in," Ng said. "After determining that, then he will probably be on the other side."
Other than saying hello to a couple of reporters in the parking lot, Belisario declined to speak with reporters until Sunday morning. He was taken to the training room to undergo the same, routine physical exam that the rest of the team underwent back in February, when spring training actually began.
"I'm disappointed that it took almost until we are ready to pack up for him to show up, but you can't control what other people do," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said. "He has to work his way back into it. There are no promises and no guarantees. All we have to do is give him the opportunity to come in here and take up to 30 days to compete for a spot on the big league roster."
Belisario originally was late to camp -- for the second year in a row -- because he was stuck in his native Venezuela due to visa problems, a fairly common occurrence among players from Latin countries. But as days turned into weeks and eventually a month, there were reports that Belisario missed repeated appointments at the U.S. Embassy in Caracas that could have sped the process along.
Colletti was asked minutes before Belisario's arrival whether the pitcher's strange behavior might signify a deeper problem.
"It certainly makes you wonder," he said. "But he is obviously a talent."
After arriving several days late to camp last year, Belisario was sent to the minor league side shortly after his arrival. But he wound up making the Opening Day roster anyway after pitching well in a couple of late-spring Cactus League games in which he was borrowed from the minor league side, and he posted a 2.04 ERA in 69 appearances as a rookie.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.