A Boston Red Sox team in need of bullpen help has signed veteran right handed reliever Ronald Belisario, according to a report by Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
The 32-year old Belisario logged 8.0 innings over 6 appearances with the Tampa Bay Rays this season before being released, posting a brutal 7.88 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in his brief tenure with the team. Rays relievers have logged more innings than any bullpen in the majors, while compiling a 3.95 ERA that ranks 12th in the American League. If Belisario couldn’t cut it for them, it’s hard to imagine him making much of an impact in Boston.
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Belisario has pitched six seasons in the big leagues with the Dodgers, White Sox and Rays. He has worked exclusively as a reliever, posting a career 3.85 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 7.2 K/9.
The Red Sox lackluster bullpen includes few reliable options beyond closer Koji Uehara and set-up man Junichi Tazawa. Take those two away and the remaining relievers that have appeared out of Boston’s bullpen this season have combined for a 5.23 ERA.
Granted that figure incorporates a few failed options that no longer reside in the organization, but Belisario will join an uninspiring core of middle relievers that includes Tommy Layne, Alexi Ogando, Robbie Ross and Craig Breslow. None of them have been awful, but they don’t exactly inspire confidence for manager John Farrell to use them in high leverage situations.
The acquisition of Belisario seems to be more about adding depth. With Boston optioning the struggling Matt Barnes on Sunday, signing Belisario could conceivably be the corresponding move.
We shouldn’t expect much from Belisario, but if he can help shoulder some of the load without getting torched when he takes the mound, the Red Sox will take it.