Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario kicked off winter ball team

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Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario, who was suspended for the entire 2011 season following a positive cocaine test, has been kicked off his winter ball team in Venezuela.

Belisario has been removed from the roster due to undisclosed disciplinary reasons and will not play for the remainder of the winter ball season, according to Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times.

Ultimas Noticias in Venezuela reports that Belisario asked for a personal leave of absence from the team and then did not return when scheduled, at which point they booted him. Belisario claims he returned when scheduled, but still got kicked off the team because he’d been having issues with the general manager.

Belisario was very effective for the Dodgers this past season, throwing 71 innings with a 2.54 ERA, but he was terrible in 2010 and missed all of 2011 on suspension. None of this should effect his status with the Dodgers.

The Cubs will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday

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The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.

The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.

Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.

The matchups for Tuesday’s action:

Carter Capps to undergo surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome

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Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.

Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.

The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.