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.
Javy Guerra was the Dodgers’ Opening Day closer last season, but yesterday they reassigned the right-hander to Triple-A.
Guerra held the closer job for around a month before giving way to Kenley Jansen. He pitched well overall with a 2.60 ERA in 45 innings, but missed five weeks in the middle of the season following knee surgery, nearly all of September with an oblique injury, and then had shoulder surgery in November.
His shoulder surgery was considered minor, but with the Dodgers’ stockpile of pitching depth there wasn’t much motivation to rush him along.
According to Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times, the Dodgers announced yesterday that Javy Guerra underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder.
The surgery was performed by team orthopedist Dr. Neal ElAttrache and involved cleaning up bursitis in the AC joint. Guerra will begin a throwing program in six weeks and should be ready for spring training if all goes well.
Guerra posted a 2.60 ERA and a 37/23 K/BB ratio over 45 innings this season while going 8-for-13 in save chances. The 27-year-old right-hander began the season as the Dodgers’ closer, but lost the job to Kenley Jansen in May before requiring knee surgery a month later. He made it back in July, but was demoted in August and suffered a season-ending oblique injury after returning as a September call-up. He’ll hope for better luck on the health front in 2013.
23-year-old Rubby De La Rosa appeared to be on a rehab path that would see him return to the majors in some role in September, but the Dodgers opted to speed things up a bit, activating him from the disabled list on Tuesday.
The move comes just one year and 12 days after De La Rosa underwent Tommy John surgery. One of the Dodgers’ bright spots for a time last year, De La Rosa had a 3.71 ERA and 60 strikeouts over 60 2/3 innings in 10 starts and three relief appearances in 2011.
De La Rosa is being brought back now after just four appearances in the minors. As you might have guessed, they were very good ones: he pitched 12 scoreless innings, allowing just five hits. However, none of those appearances came above A-ball. In his last appearance, he threw four scoreless innings for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga.
De La Rosa projects as a starter for the Dodgers in 2013 and beyond, but it appears as though he’ll work out of the bullpen for now. One assumes the Dodgers will be careful with him and won’t let him pitch on back-to-back days anytime soon. He was being used as a starter in the minors.
Getting the boot to make room for De La Rosa is ex-closer Javy Guerra. That too comes as a surprise, given that he had pitched 11 1/3 scoreless innings in his last nine appearances. He has a 2.66 ERA in 44 innings for the season.
Yesterday the Dodgers placed Javy Guerra on the disabled list with knee inflammation and today they announced that the reliever underwent knee surgery.
Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that Guerra is expected to miss 4-6 weeks, which essentially knocks him out for the remainder of the first half.
Guerra was stripped of closer duties in favor of Kenley Jansen in early May and since then had more walks (5) than strikeouts (4) in 12 innings, although he still managed to post a nice-looking 0.77 ERA.