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Five Non-Roster Contenders for Tampa Bay Rays’ Roster

By David Egbert
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Sep 23, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Ronald Belisario (54) pitches in the seventh inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Ronald Belisario

Belisario has spent five years in the major leagues, including four with the Los Angels Dodgers. In two of his first big league seasons, he was excellent, managing an ERA under 2.60, but he put up just a 5.04 ERA in the other year and has been considerably shakier the last two seasons. Last season, he was regarded highly enough by the Chicago White Sox to receive same opportunities, but he was non-tendered after posting a 5.56 ERA.

Belsario is a relief pitcher who pitches in 60-plus games per season as a setup man. He has a hard sinker that he regularly throws at 95 miles per hour and that makes him a ground ball machine. He has the qualifications to be an effective middle reliever in the big leagues and also has the ability to provide length.

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However, jobs are scarce in the Rays bullpen, which will complicate Belisario’s case to make the team. As it stands right now, Brad Boxberger, Kevin Jepsen, Grant Balfour, Ernesto Frieri, and Jeff Beliveau are locks to be with the team, leaving two spots hypothetically available. However, Jake McGee will come off the DL by the beginning of May if not the middle of April while Alex Colome will end up in the relief corps if he does not win the Rays’ fifth starter job.

To make matters worse, Belisario reported to camp with a fracture in his left, non-throwing shoulder, an injury that will sideline him for two weeks. Nevertheless, Belisario can still make the team, and his ability to throw multiple innings could earn him a spot as a long reliever even after McGee returns. In addition, with the performance of pitchers like Balfour and Frieri up in the air, Ronald Belisario could end up returning to a setup role with the Rays if he pitches well.