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Ronald Belisario rewards the Dodgers' great patience

July 06, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Ronald Belisario pitches against the Angels in June.
Ronald Belisario pitches against the Angels in June. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los…)

Are you feeling dangerous?

Enough so that you’re actually willing to count on reliever Ronald Belisario?

That’s a historically dangerous proposition, given the DUI and the rehab and suspensions and restricted list and visa issues. Not to mention the 5.04 earned-run average the last time he was seen.

But you have to give it to him right now, because he’s been an absolute monster. He’s not only reverted back to his 2009 form (2.04 ERA) when he was lights out, he’s actually upped it a notch.

The Dodgers showed remarkable patience with Belisario during his turbulent time, way more than I ever could have. And right now, they are being rewarded beyond their wildest hopes.

Since serving his drug suspension and joining the Dodgers on May 5, he has been completely dominant. He’s 3-0 with a 0.95 ERA, and seemingly getting better.

He has not surrendered a run in his last eight appearances. He’s given up only one run in his last 16 games (0.53 ERA, four hits in 17 innings). He’s been scored upon only three times in 28 appearances (11 hits). He’s practically seized the eighth-inning spot from Josh Lindblom, who was pitching just fine.

Belisario, 29, has pitched so well he’s almost forced the Dodgers to rely on him, which is where it starts to get dicey.

Yet with Javy Guerra back, Lindblom pitching well and Kenley Jansen doing what everyone anticipated as the closer, the Dodgers have enough depth to at least ride him out. Maybe he does self-destruct again. And maybe he really has matured and turned a corner. Either way, the Dodgers are currently in good position, even given the recent loss of Todd Coffey.

Nobody ever doubted Belisario’s stuff, the tremendous movement on his pitches. It was his head that was always in question. The 2012 version has it on straight. Enough so, that the Dodgers are starting to count on him.

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