I’ve tried to document the intertwined careers of Ronald Belisario and Ramon Troncoso for years now, and now they both will be reunited again in Chicago. The White Sox have signed Ronald Belisario to a one-year $3 million contract. This deal coming soon after the Dodgers chose not to tender the right-hander a contract before Monday’s deadline. It was clear that the Dodgers were moving on from Belisario who was reportedly late to games according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. Beli also had frequent issues with showing up to Spring Training on time, and he had been late to Arizona three years in a row.
In fact during Beli’s short-lived free agency, several teams drew interest including the Cubs and cross-town rival Angels. You can’t blame them, because when focused Belisario has one of the most devastating sinkers in the league. The 30-year old was set to make $2.3 million dollars in arbitration to the Dodgers who instead invested in Brian Wilson.
Belisario pitched in the most games in relief coming out of the bullpen in 2013 than any other Dodger hurler (77). Belisario was especially wild over his last dozen games, but who knows how much overworking him out of relief played a part in his decline. Yet we will always have 2009 when Belisario was at his best during his impressive rookie season. Belisario still has the talent, but the Dodgers had finally had enough of his unpredictability.
Now Beli and Troncoso will be pitching together again on the White Sox. Troncoso debuted with the Dodgers a year before Beli in 2008. He pitched in Blue through 2011. Like Beli, 2009 was his best year with the Dodgers. He pitched in 73 games and finished with a good 2.72 ERA. The next two seasons he was not as good, and he didn’t pitch in as many games. He was designated for assignment in March 2012 in order to make room for none other than Ronald Belisario who had to be activated from the restricted list. Belisario’s violation of the MLB banned substance rules earned him a 25-game suspension to begin the season. Troncoso then spent the entire 2012 season playing in AAA-Albuquerque.
Last winter, the White Sox signed Troncoso to a minor league deal. He ended up pitching in 29 games for the Sox after they had several pitchers disabled. Chicago recently outrighted Troncoso back to the minors in October. Troncoso sadly was never the same after Joe Torre overused him out of the pen in order to make up for Belisario’s shortcomings and inconsistencies in 2010.
There may be a point in the season when the two former Dodger relievers will pitch on the White Sox together out of the same bullpen. Obviously Beli will begin at the Major League level, and Chicago seems to think that he is worth more than his projected arbitration salary with the Dodgers indicated. If Belisario can regain his focus and somehow channel his 2009 self, then the White Sox made a great deal for him. The Dodgers cut ties with the goggled reliever due to his scattered past and his constant late arrivals. I wish Beli the best in Chicago, and I would give anything to see a Belisario/Troncoso Chicago style inning in 2014.