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Ronald Belisario finally reports to camp

The valuable relief pitcher, five weeks late because of visa issues in his native Venezuela, problems that were perhaps complicated by a 2009 DUI arrest, is placed on the team’s inactive list and won’t be on opening-day roster, Manager Joe Torre says.

March 28, 2010|By Dylan Hernandez

Reporting from Phoenix — For the second consecutive spring, Ronald Belisario reported to camp late because of visa problems — and this spring, he was five weeks late.

Belisario refused to speak to reporters when he arrived from his native Venezuela at the Dodgers' spring training complex Saturday, saying he would wait until Sunday morning to do so.

"I'm hungry," he said. "I'm tired."

Anticipating the arrival of their hard-throwing reliever, the Dodgers placed him on the restricted list Friday, meaning they can leave him in extended spring training for as many as 30 days and remove him from the 40-man roster without the risk of losing him on waivers. He won't be paid until he is activated.

Belisario made the Dodgers' opening-day roster a year ago even though he was two weeks late to camp, but Manager Joe Torre made clear that won't be among the 25 players who start the season in Pittsburgh on April 5. The Dodgers break camp in four days.

"This is pushing the envelope a little bit," Torre said.

General Manager Ned Colletti said he couldn't remember a player ever reporting to camp this late.

"Late?" Colletti said. "We bypassed late about three weeks ago."

Belisario's agent, Paul Kinzer, acknowledged that his client was at fault, saying Belisario missed appointments at the U.S. Embassy in Caracas. That further compounded legal issues faced by the pitcher, who last year was charged with driving under the influence and recently pleaded to a lesser charge.

Kinzer said he hopes his obviously talented client — Belisario posted a 2.04 earned-run average in 70 2/3 innings as a rookie last year — can straighten out his life.

"Hopefully, between the Dodgers and I, we could help him out with that," Kinzer said. "We worked pretty hard to get him here. He's really sorry right now. He paid his price. Hopefully, he learns from it."

Anderson close to securing roster spot?

Garret Anderson appears likely to make the Dodgers' opening-day roster, as Doug Mientkiewicz left camp for a couple of days to ponder his future in baseball after being told by Torre that he was highly unlikely to be on the team.

Anderson and Mientkiewicz, who are both non-roster players on minor league contracts, were the finalists to be the Dodgers' left-handed bat off the bench.

While Torre wouldn't confirm that Anderson had made the team, he said that Mientkiewicz's chances of making the team declined significantly when the Dodgers signed Anderson. Torre said he didn't want to announce anything because he hadn't yet talked to Anderson about the matter.

Anderson has hit .346 in 26 spring at-bats.

Mientkiewicz, who is taking time off to decide whether to accept a minor league assignment from the Dodgers or exercise an out clause in his contract and try to sign with another club, has hit .292 in 24 at-bats.

Haeger states his case

Making his last appearance of the spring in an environment ill-suited for his knuckleball, fifth-starter candidate Charlie Haeger tossed 5 1/3 shutout innings in the Dodgers' 3-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

Haeger held the Mariners to one walk and two hits, both by Ichiro Suzuki. He struck out five.

Because Haeger is out of options, the Dodgers risk losing him to waivers if he isn't on their opening-day roster.

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