Ronald Belisario is out as White Sox closer

4 Comments

Ronald Belisario came into last night’s White Sox Blue Jays game in the ninth inning to lock down a 5-2 lead. When he left it was 5-3, with Belisario having given up a homer and having put two more runners on, one of whom came around to score. Robin Ventura had to call on two more relievers to wiggle out of the jam and escape the game with a 5-4 win.

Afterward Ventura announced¬†that Belisario — who now has a 5.54 ERA and has allowed 84 hits in 74.1 innings — has been removed from his role as the team’s closer. Jake Petricka, one of the two who came in to bail out Belisario, could be his replacement. Or possibly Javy Guerra and Zach Putnam. We just know it ain’t Bellisario anymore.

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
5 Comments

Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.

Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.

The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.

If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.