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 Angels were the first team to use up all of their mound visits

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Last night’s Angels-Astros game was a long affair with a bunch of homers and the use of 11 pitchers in all. The Angels used six pitchers and all of that business led to plenty of conferences. Six, in fact, which is their allotment under the new rule capping mound visits. As far as I can tell, that makes the Angels the first team to use up all of their mound visits since the advent of the rule.

Sadly, they did not try to go for a seventh, thereby testing the currently unknown limits of the rule. Umpires have been instructed to not allow additional mound visits, but they cannot issue balls or tackle anyone or anything to enforce it. Presumably, if Maldonado had walked out to talk to Cam Bedrosian about the weather or where he was going to dinner after the game, the home plate umpire would’ve simply done the old Robin Williams English policeman’s bit of yelling “Stop! . . . or I shall yell ‘Stop!’ again!” Maybe a fine would issue later, but we’ll never know.

At least until someone breaks the limit. And we know someone will, right? We should have a betting pool on who does it.