Belisario reports to spring training a tad late

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belisario delivery.JPGUPDATE:  Belisario spoke with ESPN Los Angeles on Sunday and explained his absence from camp:

“I never missed an appointment,” he said. “They gave me appointments to
go to after they said they were denying my visa. They told me to take
exams and things, and I kept going twice a week. They just said they
were denying my visa because of the DUI.”

12:03pm:  Tony Jackson of ESPN Los Angeles passes along word that right-hander reliever Donald Belisario finally showed up to Dodgers camp Saturday after a three-week battle with visa issues in Venezuela.  

He secured the visa this week and is expected to begin participating in full-squad drills on Sunday.  Dodgers manager Joe Torre said last week that Belisario won’t be a member of the club’s Opening Day bullpen mix, no matter how ready he is.  Why?  Because the right-hander missed three scheduled appointments at the U.S. Embassy in Caracas this month that would have expedited the process of getting him to Camelback Ranch.  Managers tend to shy away players who display a lack of motivation.

Nonetheless, it’s good to hear that Belisario is finally in camp and will be helping the Dodgers at some point this season.  He had a 2.04 ERA in 70 2/3 innings last year.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.